A Rusty Response a/k/a The Red Coats Are Coming


Rusty was somewhat put off by yesterday’s assertion that Al’Qaeda really wants Kerry to win. In the comments to this post, he writes:

Yes, because it would benefit al Qaeda if first responders here received funding; if U.S. troops quit pussy-footing around Fallujah because the White House ordered them to do so; if Iraq actually had a trained police force like they were supposed to almost a year ago; if the White House didn’t crap on the families of veterans by cutting their benefits, etc. etc. etc.

Eri[c]k, this theory is distasteful and a gigantic leap of logic. If I were a political spinster, I would refer to it as a “faith-based assertion,” because it requires blind devotion and is not based on evidence.

This is the red state-blue state gap. Yes, it was a distasteful post. I’m not a fan of fisking or polemics because I generally don’t consider myself to have a mean streak and I think that is a general requirement fisking and polemics. But, at the same time I do think Al’Qaeda would, if given the choice, prefer John Kerry in the White House. They aren’t the only ones.

What it boils down to, I think, is how Rusty and I want the President to respond. I want the cowboy President. Rusty, I suspect, does not. At the same time, I think it is clear from everything we know about Al’Qaeda that they thought we would get out of Dodge after 9/11. After all, we hadn’t really responded significantly to their other attacks.

The liberals are quite right. John Kerry would be slower to move, more methodical, more deliberate, and probably even more analytical. If you will, I view this as the British vs. the American rebels. John Kerry is like the British. They fought in an organized, disciplined manner. They slowly and deliberately built coalitions with Indians, paid Hessians, and fought under historical rules of war, even in their marching patterns. Like the American rebels, Bush is flying by the seat of his pants, taking shots where he can take shots, and adapting rapidly — sometimes with not all together terrific consequences or fully thought out plans. The Revolutionary War was revolutionary. Colonists rebelled against their masters and learned to fight an unconventional war. They learned as the fought. They had no time for over analyzing and sometimes made mistakes. Nonetheless, they won.

The war on terror is a new form of warfare. Countries are not fighting countries. Islamofascists are fighting countries — well us really. We need to be fleixble and adaptable. Sometimes we will mess up, but we must keep the ball moving down the court.

I see Bush as more willing to be flexible and adaptable. I see Kerry as a stodgy red coat who fights the way he was always trained and has trouble adapting. His campaign has proven his lack of adaptability.

So, yes, I think Al’Qaeda would prefer Kerry. I think he would be more predictable and would move slower to respond. Al’Qaeda, we have learned, likes to quickly adapt. I fear they would adapt and regroup faster than Kerry could respond. Bush doesn’t wait and that turns some people off — sometimes it turns me off. But I think that he is the right leader at the right time with the right set of ideas and the right team.

Kerry would turn us back to 9/10 and I don’t think we really can turn back. I think Rusty and I will continue to disagree on this, but I think I owe it to him and everyone else to fully lay out, beyond cheap rhetoric, why I think Al’Qaeda would prefer John Kerry.

That’s my case, rightly or wrongly — but I hope laid out in a less distasteful way.

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Erick Erickson


  • There is all that, and I also think that Kerry has sent clear and unmistakable signals that he intends to work much harder to make nations like Russia, France, etc. like us. I think this is simply a mistake.

    I can understand why someone would think it’s not a mistake. But I think it is a mistake. Thus, again, it’s simply not possible for me to consider supporting Kerry.

  • Erick (again, my bad on the misspelling),
    It’s interesting that you make the comparison to John Kerry as being like the British during the Revolutionary War period. Not surprisingly, I would argue the opposite is true.

    The pretense of the Iraq war being over weapons of mass destruction has been proven false, and the goal of simply “removing an evil dictator” doesn’t carry much weight when there are lots and lots of evil dictators floating around who pose an equal or greater threat to our security. So what was the goal then? Establishing a Democratic state in Iraq accomplishes a couple of things: 1) it allows us to not rely on Saudi Arabia as a platform in the Middle East from which to attack other nations which do not agree with our goals (this works sort of like the “island hopping” strategy used against the Japanese in WWII), and, as a side effect of that, 2) we can then seriously address our issues with the Saudis harboring those who attack us, which we are not doing now because we need them for now.

    There’s just one problem with all of this: it’s the same thing Western countries have been trying, and failing, to do for 2,000 years. George W. Bush is leading us down the same path that led to the fall of both the British and Roman empires. Pat Buchanan agrees with me in his new book Where the Right Went Wrong:

    “The neoconservatives are marinated in conceit, and their hubris may yet prove their undoing. And ours as well.”

    As such, I will make this statement: al Qaeda, and all other Islamic fundamentalist America-hating groups, if they were ever to make a formal endorsement of a U.S. Presidential candidate, would more likely prefer that George W. Bush wins the election. They want their Jihad; the same war the West has been fighting and losing for 2,000 years.

By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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