Sarah Palin and Victory

I was somewhat encouraged by the selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate for John McCain. I even went so far as to say that the best likely outcome -- that is, the best outcome which does not involve breaking the stranglehold of the Republican and Democratic wings of the Big Government Party on the American government -- for America might be if McCain was elected and immediately dropped dead.

I still believe that, but Palin stands out because she is a Queen in a deck of Jokers. She stands out not because she understands what is best for America, but because she misunderstands our plight a little bit less than McSame and Biden.

On the subject of foreign policy, I am sad to say, she seems to be as dazed and confused as they. She opened her acceptance of the nomination with error. She accepts, in her words, "the call to help our nominee for president to protect and defend America". That is a fine job, but it is not the one for which she has applied. The job for which she has applied is commenced with an oath. Her oath, should she be elected, is not to protect and defend America, the American people, the American economy, American prestige, American power abroad, or American influence in foreign lands. Her oath, should she be elected, will be to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That is the first and most important responsibility of any American elected official.

She goes on to say that McCain was criticized for his unwillingness to "lose an election than to see his country lose a war". This statement is in error in many ways. Firstly, the war, had Congress declared war as the Constitution requires, would have been declared against the Government of Iraq. The Government of Iraq against which our Congress failed to declare war no longer exists, and therefore seems to be rather poorly positioned to win a war. The head of the state against which we did not declare war was a man named Saddam Hussein. An evil bastard, to be sure. He is, however, no better positioned to win a war than the Iraqi government. He has, you see, been hung by the neck until dead, dead, dead. This seems an inauspicious position from which to declare victory.

If the question in Iraq is not winning a war against a defunct enemy, or losing to the dead leader of a non-existent government, what is the question, today, in Iraq?

The question is "Is it worth spending more American treasure, atop the trillion dollars we have already spent, in order to defend a foreign nation against the ethnic and cultural divisions which have existed in it since the British decided that three disparate peoples should be forced to live as a single nation".

The answer is no.

The question is "Will America benefit by providing potential terrorists with the corpses of friends and relatives, dead at our hands, to avenge."

The answer is no.

The question is "Is it worth the life of one more American soldier to provide security and prosperity to a foreign people who have never posed a credible threat to America, but have never paid a single dollar in taxes to America, nor sworn to protect and defend her Constitution, nor thanked her for removing the Odious Hussein, nor supported her which she was in need, nor defended her values, nor offered her anything except animosity.

The answer is HELL NO.

As far as I am concerned, America entered a broken country, removed the worst of the impediments to it's reform, and spent far too much blood and treasure attempting to offer her security and prosperity. The results have been imperfect, but Iraqis are no worse off then they were when we came. It is within the power of the Iraqi people to reform their nation, or to descend into chaos. The time has come for them to choose, and to live with the consequences of their decision.

But let us, for a moment, return to Sarah Palin. There is another glaring error in her speech which must be addressed. It illustrates either her failure to understand the American system of justice, or her willingness to sacrifice American values for expediency. That error is her statement that "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights".

Ms. Palin, it is after, not before, the investigation that Americans determine the guilt or innocence of those accused of crimes. We do not base the tactics of the investigation on the guilt of the targets, nor on the severity of their crime, but on the bedrock of our immutable, written, Constitution. Americans -- true Americans -- choose to accept risk rather than to risk tyranny. They choose not to sacrifice their Liberty for temporary Security, knowing that a people who does so deserves -- and will receive -- neither Liberty nor Security. True Americans choose to risk their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honors, not for absolute protection against every possible risk, but for protection of their Liberty against the ever looming danger of a government run amok. They know that a criminal freed due to a violation of his rights may kill them. They accept that danger because they heed the words of John Stark, the most famous New Hampshire soldier to serve in the Revolution:

Live Free or Die: Death is not the worst of evils.
I do not agree with Palin that Liberty must be sacrificed in order to achieve reasonable Security. But even were she to convince me that I must choose between them, I would choose dangerous Freedom over the illusory Security of Servitude.

In the final analysys, Palin is an unacceptable candididate because she, by her own words, is willing to sacrifice Liberty for Security, because she is willing to trade American blood for an illusary "victory" against the dead leader of a defunct government, and because she does not understand that no nation, no matter how powerful, and no matter how well intentioned, can impose it's will on other nations with impunity. For all these reasons, the selection of Palin does not change my choice. I'll be voting for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate for President, and the best hope to restore Liberty to America.

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