The National Whig

Serving to make the United States better by arguing for Liberty and its best ingredient Limited Government.

Location: Any Towne, Any State, United States

Editor and Publisher of The National Whig.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Conservative on the Ticket

There is newcomer to national politics in this year's presidential race that is causing a lot of buzz and excitement. This newcomer was relatively unheard of until just a few days ago when John McCain named her as his running mate on the top of the Republican ticket this year. Her name is Sarah Palin and she is the governor of Alaska. And she has Conservatives doing a lot of talking about how excited they are to not only vote for McCain, but to actually donate money to his cause, some thing that has been lacking this year.

Governor Palin has a pretty solid resume with real accomplishments on it. She has been a mayor, a city council member, a reformer and most of all a mother of five. She has Conservatives excited because she has lived conservatism. Sitting on the Republican ticket as the Vice Presidential candidate, she will give John McCain the much needed boost that he has been looking for from the base of the Republican Party.

With all of this good news, comes the actual test. Will she be able to convince the American voter that being slightly inexperienced as a Vice President is not near as bad as being completely inexperienced as President? Democrats, almost immediately, went on the attack that she has no experience and that the McCain campaign is hypocritical for denouncing Barack Obama for being inexperienced and then nominating as a running-mate some one who is inexperienced. There are two main differences in this argument: 1) Obama wants to be President and 2) Palin, as VP, will be in a position to learn from her boss. Obama is looking for the top job with no experience outside of being a state senator and then a U.S. senator. He decided to run for President barely a year after being elected to his first term as U.S. senator. Prior to him holding elected office he was a community engineer, which means that he did nothing while sitting in an office operated by some liberal charity. Gov. Palin has a much more accomplished resume than the Democrats' Presidential contender. But if they want to make hay of the Republicans' number two being less qualified then their number one, so be it. And that leads into the second point. Palin will have a great opportunity to learn while VP. Look at it this way, she is a rookie quarterback learning from the veteran while the coaching staff determines when she is ready to start. She may be in the better position.

The bottom line is that Republicans are enthusiastic about actually voting for McCain as opposed to voting against Obama and that is a much better position to be in. The other plus is that she is intelligent, some thing Liberal women have a hard time convincing others that they are. And also, unlike Liberal women, Palin is easy on the eyes.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What Next for Georgia?

It has been a week since Russia invaded the small country of Georgia over what the Russians claim to be a humanitarian effort to stop the Georgian army from tyrannizing South Ossetia, a province of northern Georgia. However, given the push by the Russian military deep into Georgia, there can be little doubt that this is not a humanitarian effort by the Russians. There is something deeper going on here and it has nothing to do with the good will of the Russian government toward the people of South Ossetia.

Let us begin with a couple of reasons for Russia's quick launch of an invasion of a country that was once part of its Soviet empire. The number one reason is the expansion of NATO all the way to the border of Russia, and as a result, Russia's feeling vulnerable to diplomatic conquest. Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are all member states of NATO. Ukraine and Georgia have been seeking membership for much of the decade. Russia feels threatened and, it is quite possible, flustered over watching its former empire become members of an organization created during the Cold War with the sole responsibility of making sure that the influence of Soviet Russia did not spread further into Western Europe. It seems that Georgia's attmepts to gain NATO membership was the last straw, and so Russia acted in the only way it knew how.

The first signs of Russia's determination to prevent Georgia from moving further away from its influence surfaced in September of 2006 when Georgia arrested what they claimed to be spies. Accordingly, Russia's foreign and defense ministries denounced the accusations and demanded that the detainees be released. The situation worsened when Georgia refused to release the Russian army officers and, in response, Russia withdrew its diplomatic arm in Tblisi and refused to issue Russian visas to Georgian citizens. Eventually the Georgians released the accused, even as Russia implemented economic sanctions against Georgia. Finally, Georgia began accusing Russia of giving support to separatists in two of Georgia's provinces, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Now, it looks like Russia is on the verge of completely conquering one of its old satellite states.

So, does this all stem from Georgia wanting to be a member of NATO? And, aside from that, what is next for Georgia? It is clear that the current wisdom regarding Georgia's peril stems from their desire to be inducted into NATO. Do a quick Google search and you can see for yourself that the NATO issue is on everyone's mind when explaining how all of this came to fruition. There is some credibility to this line of thinking, though it should be encouraged to take in a contrarian's view. The main explaination is more likely to be centered around Russia's desire to recapture its old glory by reconstituting the empire it claimed when it was the U.S.S.R.

As for Georgia, its future rests in the hands of Europe and the United States. Russia's dominance of the Georgian military has rendered it helpless in repelling the invaders and thus is, as of right now, unable to regain its sovereignty. It would seem that the only way forward in saving Georgia is to have the Europeans get involved, but so far the only involvement has come from the US in the form of telling Russia to get out. Poland has decided to allow the US to place a missile defense shield there--much to Russia's displeasure--but the US insists that it is to protect from a nuclear Iran. Russia's response has been to declare that it will not rule out a nuclear strike against Poland. Europe also has to think about the energy repercussions of a Russian dominated Georgia.

The war in the Caucasus is going to put a major strain on Europe, and even though there is not as direct a strain put on the US, this does set the table for future rows between the East and the West. Russia is free to run rough-shod over its neighbors because Europe is unwilling to use any type of force, even to protect their own back yard, and the US is busy with the terrorist threat in the Middle East. It is going to be difficult to slow down the advance of the bear, but the West better act quickly and with one voice or it faces another Cold War.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Trouble in Asia, and All We Hear About are Tire Gauges

Every four years in the United States we experience two great phenomenons bourne out of two creations of man. The first is the gaining of an extra day due to our keeping of time not actually coming out to an exact 24 hours. The second is the campaign for president of the United States. The leap year is rather boring though when compared to the fireworks that usually accompany a presidential campaign. But this year, in light of some of the events that have transpired over the course of the past eight months, the presidential contest seems to be lacking.

Yes, it is true that this year features the first ever black candidate to be nominated by one of the two major political parties. And yes, it is also true that this year will produce our first elected president to come out of the Senate since John Kennedy. But take a look at some of the other items that this campaign has brought us. We have been treated to a campaign that features using tire gauges as means to dispell our energy crisis. We have been treated to articles about what the two candidates like to watch on TV. We have one candidate--John McCain--who claims a fictitious president as his example of the type of leader he would like to be. And then there is the Messiah-complex of Barack Obama. But one thing that has not been brought up at all in this campaign is the role that the United States will play on the stage of world affairs. This week displayed two major events that should have leapt out in the forefront of presidential politics.

The first is a bit subtle, yet nonetheless important. China hosts the Summer Olympics and on the opening day ceremonies, while every one in the stands was cheering the festivities, there were millions of people in China suffering for no other crime but speaking their minds and thinking freely. Underneath the surface the story of protest has been bubbling over, but it has yet to catch on among the presidential candidates. The United States used to view the Olympics as an avenue to rebuke inhumane Communist regimes, but that time seems to have passed.

The second major event to not garner any attention from either presidential candidate is the invasion of the Republic of Georgia by Russia. This crisis has been left to boil for some four to five years at the least only to have the water boil over this week. Quickly, to get you up to speed, Georgia is having problems with separatists in the northern province of South Ossetia and so they responded by marching in to crush the rebels. Meanwhile, Russia has used this strife as a means to provoke Georgia into a confrontation. You might recall in the past couple of years Russia claiming that Georgia had detained some of its diplomats, while Georgia maintains that these "diplomats" were in fact spies. Well, needless to say, this all came to a head on Friday August 8 when Russian war planes began bombing runs inside Georgia and Russian tanks crossed the border. In response, Georgia is doing everything they can to repell the Russians, even withdrawling their forces in Iraq. President Bush has urged a quick resolution and rest assured that there are plenty of behind the scenes talks going on in Beijing. But what is missing is what a President McCain or a President Obama would do.

Granted there is not much that either can do right now to bring about a cease fire, as they are both just Senators, but this is a grand opportunity to bring up a larger issue--one that matters by the way--to the American people. We have been treated to eight years of the Left telling us that the foriegn policy of the Bush administration is the equivolent of the foriegn policy of a chimp. Well what would an Obama administration do in a scenario such as this? How exactly would Obama go about bringing this thing to a close favorable to the US? What about McCain? He seems to have all the answers when it comes to conducting a war, but what answers does he have in regards to international intrigue?

These two global events are ripe for a presidential candidate to display the type of leadership that would be employed in the next administration. Should we or should we not deal with China on any level so long as people there suffer due to political incarceration? Will we stand with allies who are bullied by a former power looking to regain its former glory, even as those allies stand with us in an unpopular war? These are questions that need to be answered now before the next president takes the oath of office. Some would claim that we didn't truly know what we were getting into when Bush first came to office, well now is the time to know about the next guy. But I guess for now, we will have to do with what TV shows our candidates enjoy and how much pressure-per-inch should we put in our tires in the hopes of saving ANWR from drilling.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Military Tribunals Work; Hamdan Guilty

Today marks the end of the first military tribunal involving one of the Guantanamo Bay detainees, Salim Ahmed Hamdan. Hamdan was captured in Afghanistan during the military operations that served as the response for the September 11 terrorist attacks. What was Hamdan found guilty of? A jury of six found him guilty of material support to terrorists; however, they aquitted him for the more serious charge of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts. It is the aquittal that has many anti-Bush administration pundits laughing and saying "see, this tribunal stuff doesn't work." But let's just keep in mind that the conviction for material support came as a result of Hamdan being the driver for Osama bin Laden. People in the press are saying that this is the "lesser" crime, and it really is when compared to a conspiracy charge. But it's not like the jury just convicted the driver of a get-away-car used in a bank robbery.

Executive director of Amnesty International USA Larry Cox claims that the military tribunal process is "fatally flawed." Well, if this process is flawed then A) why was it used to begin with and B) how could a jury picked by the Pentagon convict for the "lesser" crime? Mr. Cox's use of the phrase "fatally flawed" would signify that the error has caused the life of Hamdan to end, but it has done no such thing. What the process has done is held Hamdan for seven years while his leftist lawyers argued that the military tribunal process violated US and international law and managed to win over the jury in regards to the aquittal for the conspiracy charge. Rand Beers has basically asked "seven years and this all that happened?" Well, Mr. Beers might be reminded that it was his buddies on the left who initiated the Supreme Court process. Navigating a court case all the way to the Supreme Court is not something that happens over night. So, Mr. Beers, Hamdan very easily could have met justice sooner had it not been for the left's insistance that a foriegn individual employed by the number one terrorist in the world was entitled to have his court case heard in the US justice system as opposed to military tribunals.

As to the material support charges Hamdan was found guilty of, there will most likely be an appeal by Hamdan's lawyers. The rationale for the appeal is that material support should not be considered a war crime. Well on the face of it, that would be a sensable reaction, but we are talking about bin Laden's driver not the driver of some two-bit criminal in the US. Furthermore, Hamdan is not a US citizen and should not be given the same access to the justice system that you or I would get.

The American Left has made it a point to compare the holding of terrorists in Guantanamo Bay to that of the Nazis holding Jews in concentration camps. Hollywood has made propaganda films depicting an overzealous political leader making up a threat all for the purpose of taking dictitorial control over the country. Leftist politicians repeatedly make the charge that what is being done in GETMO is inhumane. It is time for the American people to wake up and realize that by the left doing this they are putting all of us in grave danger. Barack Obama and the Democrat Party will not fight the terrorists. They will go back to issuing subpoenas and indicting terrorists in other countries only after terrorist attacks and the death of innocent Americans.