On the 3/11 Attack:

To any Spaniards who happen to be reading this, thanks for standing by us Yanks over the last couple years.
Itís easy to love America in the good times when the trade money flows; hard to love us when we are being dicks, or occasionally undertaking the hard, unpopular mucking of the Augean stables in some shitty part of the world. What you have done in Spain is hard, and I applaud you for it; your nation has lived up to its glorious history.
As the country that was the first in Europe to be under the yoke of Islamic oppression, and one of the last to rid yourselves of it, surely many in your nation know the stakes, and no doubt this is why the noble Aznar has led your country to stand with the US and Britain.
My heart goes out to you, and though I donít know your pain, I understand a little about it, having lost a few friends on 9/11.
I will be taking some flowers to the Spanish Embassy tomorrow morning, as I live in D.C., ground zero for the smallest of the 9/11 attacks.
Folks here can use the web to send flowers to: 2375 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. – Washington, D.C. 20037. The Embassy phone number, which you’ll need to enter for Internet orders (such as 1800flowers.com) is 202.452.0100. (Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds). If any of you are in D.C., I encourage you to go down there. Glenn Reynolds has some info on a silent rally around noon at Washington Circle (23d & Penn, NW), a guest book at the Embassy, and so forth. You’ll know who I am – the big guy in a lawyer’s black suit, with flowers, crying a little.
I hope this wakes up the rest of Europe to the mortal threat posed to our society by these evil, evil men. I hope also that Spanish, and Italian, and British and Ozzie resolve stays firm, and that the brave nation of Spain keeps manning the ramparts against the destruction these ghastly beasts have unleashed on the world.
Well, that’s dignified. But this attack invites an answer, a venting, and I’m going to use the occasion of a visit by our friendly local semi-troll, Mithras, to air out some feelings about the war on terror, the presidential race, and politics. Skip it if you aren’t up for some spleen venting.

Mithras is cheerleading for Kerry in the comments to this post.
Living in the Beltway area – Washington, D.C. – I get a full blast of the Dems’ agit prop. I’m a conservative attorney, I’ve dabbled in public service, and I know what the landscape here looks like from three or four different perspectives. I hear it on a day to day basis, and I’ve come to despise the politics of lack-of-substance more than anything. It’s poisoning this country.
If there’s one thing I know, this excited, gasping media love affair with John Kerry is the romance of an adolescent boy with a shiny pistol. There’s something wrong about it, it’s unnatural, and it’s going to end badly for the boy, or somebody at the wrong end of the pistol.
You see, Kerry is running on the platform that there is no problem with terrorism; that if we just send lots of Dane geld to the Middle East, weíll have a peaceful world; and that itís morally and legally illegitimate for anybody other than Kofi Annan to oppose the development, sale and purchase, or employment of Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons. Kerry wants to stand down the military, stand down (the already shaky) security, hamstring the intelligence agencies, and return us to that pre-9/11, End of History world we used to live in.
The drum beat for Kerry, where I live, is constant. Iím on the Metro the other night after work, and a bunch of younger folks Ė probably Teach for America kids, or maybe Georgetown students Ė were ranting about how awful Bush is, and how they are excited about this upcoming ďBeat Bush Back to Fucking TexasĒ party that a friend was throwing. I have friends working in the law enforcement and intel agencies around the government, who have gone gray haired since 9/11 Ė they always look tired for some reason and when some mutual friend starts going on about the phonied up war on terror, they look ill. Occasionally, it slips out on CNN that some terror suspect was caught coming into the country, and I hear rumors from my reasonably well placed friends that we are only getting the tip of the iceberg Ė that we donít get the 90% thatís below the water line. Meanwhile, a liberal ex-friend of mine keeps sending me Rall cartoons, horrific videos alleging all sorts of wild Bush-led conspiracies to make money on oil, and the whole left side of the political class is going on about how Florida was stolen. And my friends working on the national security side of life get grayer, and grayer, both in the face and the hair. Itís like we arenít even in the same world.
Then this huge attack happens today in Spain, and I can tell you, the result will be predictable: the Chomskies and Sonntags of the world, and all their bush league imitators, will say Spain had it coming for sticking with America. They shouldnía gone on that cockamamie imperialist adventure in Iraq. It won’t even be on the radar for most of the left in this country – the sophisticated Europhiles simply won’t register the attack, because it doesn’t fit their world view, except as an attack on an America proxy, and thus expected. ‘Cuz America is evil, you know. At least when it has a Republican president.
Quite frankly, Iím sick of it. Sick sick sick sick sick. Itís like sitting in a burning house, and your friend in the adjacent easy chair keeps offering you popcorn, and insisting that the burning smell is in your imagination. Or at worst, itís because you burned the popcorn you idiot, now shut up and watch the movie.
Weíre in a war folks, and if we put our heads in the sand, yeah, it will be nice and quiet, but in reality it means Osama or somebody just like him will have an easier time of walking by and kicking us in the ass.
Iím so pissed about the obdurate refusal of an apparent majority (if Mithras’ poll numbers are correct) of people in this country to realize the scope of the problem that, in a way, I kind of hope Kerry wins.
I hope these gasbags who insist that there’s no war afoot get their way. I kinda hope that the people who think that we could live in peace if only we were soft enough and paid enough Dane geld, and taxed people enough, and shoveled enough money to old folk, poor folk, and minorities Ė I wish sometimes that they would win.
Yeah, thereís days when I want to see our troops withdrawn from all over the world; and see police and intel agencies’ operating standards rolled back in a way that would give Senator Church wet dreams.
When I hear about how awful education reform is, I want to see our schools released form the horrible burden of testing and publishing the results, and then having to answer to angry parents for it.
I want to see the prescription drug benefit (which has doubled in cost in 8 weeks) expanded to cover everybody and their dog.
I sometimes want to see our social institutions destroyed so badly, that I get forced into a gay marriage during a black mass under the moonlight, led by a transsexual priest from the schismatic American Catholic Church.
I want to see the bothersome airport security relaxed, and I donít want to be asked for identification before I get on a plane with my oxygen bottles and my propane camp stove.
I want anybody to be able to quit work, and to be covered for life with welfare benefits.
I want my guns taken from me, so the local hoodlums from the adjacent high crime neighborhood (where guns are banned, BTW) can come over to my house, defile my wife and do it in front of my kid.
I want to see the corrupt French, and the corrupt, oil-for-food-money-thieving UN with a veto over US foreign policy and legal decisions.
I want to see John Kerry admit that when he said ďI want to blow Osamaís brains outĒ, he really meant it in the sexual sense. After all, we had it coming.
Yep, thereís a lot of days I want Kerry and every batshit, shrill, insane left wing cause he champions to win the war, battle by battle, right now.
And then as the economy, and the tall buildings, and the insane quarter or half of the Dems come crashing to the ground, I want to sit back and laugh my ass off as they fucking choke on it.
If history teaches us anything, itís that the path they advocate is followed, disaster will be nipping at our heels in an instant. Most of the delusional leftist policies the Dems adhere to as dogma Ė the goals they hope to achieve if only we stupid-ass proles would go along with it – are failed. They are failed not because some college professor says they stink; especially not because of that because we know that for all practical purposes, no college professors have the bad taste to be conservative enough to say that. They arenít failed because the left barely holds power anywhere in the world any more. And they arenít failed just because I say so.
We know instead that the left wing policies worshipped by Kerry and his minions are failed because we have the corpses, the mass graves, the broken economies, and shit bag leftover republics crawling out of the wreckage bequeathed to us by the great left wing ideas of the 20th century to prove that leftism failed. We have the slowly dying Western European democracies, too feeble to defend themselves from internal Islamofascist takeover, to prove that slow creeping leftism is failed too. Hell, we have the sick man of Africa, which doesnít refer to a country any more but rather to the continent itself, to show you where left wing dreaming gets you, to prove it.
Yes, Iíd love to see the left in this country get everything it wants Ė and then watch them chock to death on it, like a garden snake trying to eat a toad. I donít know if Iíve started to hate, literally hate, the left; but there are days when I feel like Iíd hand them the keys just for the joy of watching them drive us into a wall.
The thing is, I canít give over to that despair, and I donít think you should either. There are people I actually care about, and I donít want to inflict that kind of a world on them. I canít bring myself mentally to condemning the people I care about to that kind of misery.
I canít bring myself to condemning the decent people out there to that kind of misery, either. There are too many of us to write the damn place off. We’re half the country, or if the polls are accurate, a little less. But it’s still a lot of people who are doing the thinking, and advocating the right course, for everybody. No, I can’t wish their doom. Itís that simple.
So between now and November, Iím going to take every chance I can to remind you that:
I canít vote for a guy who is going to drop trou for Kofi Annan, because I remember what happened on 9/11, and I remember that, contrary to popular opinion, our punitive expedition to Afghanistan was not really supported by the UN, or Kofi, except out of fear that Rudy Giuliani might pull their parking privileges.
I canít vote for a guy who is going to jack up taxes as much as he threatens, because Iím already kicking 35% or a little more this year into the community chest. Itís turning into theft, folks. Theft. I wonít condone it.
I canít vote for a guy who is going to nationalize medicine, because I see the other stuff the federal government does, and we simply canít trust the practice of medicine to the feds. What program you want model it on? NASA? Welfare? Public housing projects? The military acquisitions program? Jeeeee-zus. I canít believe people would even think about entrusting their health to the government.
Nor can I vote for a guy who says heís going to hamstring law enforcement and intelligence. We were attacked on 9/11 in large part because they were hamstrung, and couldnít even talk to each other. A team of FBI agents working the Intel beat was out hunting for two of the 9/11 attackers for a year prior to the attacks, but they couldnít talk to the other half of the FBI, doing criminal work, because it was forbidden by restrictive policies imposed by paranoid bureaucrats. Thatís the scandal that PATRIOT in large part fixed; Kerry wants to undo it, and in fact do much worse than Senator Church ever did. Go ahead, send one of your touchy-feely cops to serve a warrant on Osama, and see if he shows up…
I canít vote for a guy who talks about how everything we do has to have a moral principle, and then he canít even articulate an intelligible position on gay marriage.
I canít vote for a guy who canít bring himself to praise the knocking off of a brutal dictator like Hussein Ė even after he voted for it!
I canít vote for a guy who talks about democracy and fighting abusive government, who then says he would have sent as many troops as it took to prop up the murderous Aristide, who stole the election Ė as Kerry alleges Bush did, and as Kerry is preparing to do right now with his teams of lawyers.
In short, no matter how much my miserable Black Irish side tells me to kick over the lantern and let it burn, I canít bring myself to do it. I donít often see right and wrong in politics, and maybe Bush/Kerry isnít a case of right and wrong. I donít agree with everything Bush does. He has some problems.
But in this case, at worst, itís a case of a little wrong, versus very wrong.
No way in hell could I pull for Kerry. I wouldnít wish him and his worn out Ď60s radicalism on my enemies, much less my family, friends and country. Heís a walking fucking disaster area looking for a place to happen, and if we donít figure that out soon, weíre going to pay in blood and gold. Mark my words.



  1. The Guv

    Great post. Lots of thought and effort. As a (former?) “liberal attorney” in SF very woken up by the events of the last few years, I feel a certain kinship for your “conservative attorney” analysis, and I applaud it. I would add only that although many on the left are hopeless, don’t think that only 50% or just under 50% as you say are not hopeless — there are some who may not yet be on-side, but who are capable of being reasoned with. Posts like yours help.
    Best regards.

  2. diana

    Well, thankyou for that. There are days when this struggle feels like more than I can stand. I am surrounded by the frenzied blabberings of the liberal left and often feel powerless to make a difference. You make me realise that even ordinary folks have to continue to fight for our future, even people like me. Rolling over and letting the inmates take over the asylum is not an option.

  3. Dave J

    It’s a damn shame that your vote for Bush in DC won’t matter. As an expat from the People’s Republic of Taxachussetts, I can certainly remember what that felt like. I’ll think of everyone in similar situations when I punch out the figurative chad here in the swingingest of all swing states (thankfully figurative: there are no REAL punch card counties left in Florida).

  4. JFM

    Perhaps you don’t know but Alma Viva in Spanish means Living Soul. I have found much, much more solidarity with Spain in American blogs than in the French press.

  5. Joe Lemyre

    Well said, Al. I’ve been thinking along the same lines lately, that I’d like to see the left finally pay the price for their failed policies; but we’d all lose too much, we’d all have to pay that price with them, so the cost is just too high. Drat !
    And thanks for representing the rest of us at the Embassy today – I’ll be sure to say a prayer for our Spanish friends at noon.

  6. Ken Hall

    Hang tough, Al. I’m reminded of something a World War II veteran said in an interview at the release of Saving Private Ryan. He said that in battle, you always feel like you’re losing, right up to the minute you win.
    Keep hope alive.

  7. Al Maviva

    Thanks for the comments, folks. Just an update. I went to the Spanish Embassy for the Silent March today. It was very dignified, very quiet, very Castillian. I met a couple friends there, that I had not expected to see. We stood quietly in the North side of Washington Circle, behind a huge sign denouncing terrorism, and faced the embassy and the Spanish flag at half mast for a while. A steady crowd of 200 – 300 people were there – some folks would go, some would arrive. There were a lot of sad Spaniards, and a good sprinkling of sad Americans too. One thing that came through, is the usually peacenik-ey Spanish expats are pissed. My friend – previously against Spanish involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq said quietly, “Of course, this means war. It’s on.”
    The Spanish, of all people know about Osama’s threats to avenge the “tragedy of Andalusia” – Muslim domination and oppression is still a cultural landmark to the Spanish. This seems to have awakened them.
    And yes, I dropped off some flowers on behalf of myself, a couple other friends, and all of you who visit here and encourage us on in our spleen venting, ranting, and occasional linking of one decent thought to another. Here’s what I put on the card:
    “People of Spain, you stood by us, thank you. Now we stand by you.”
    I couldn’t think of anything better to say, so I just said what I was thinking in plain English. I’m sure it’s appreciated.
    Let’s mourn for a few days more, and then, taking a quote from General Eberhardt, who is becoming legendary inside the Beltway for his wordsmithing if not his battlefield exploits, “Let’s get the bastards.”

  8. Musings of a Techno-Geek

    Pop quiz

    Someone wants to kill you. He’s killed others and now he’s coming for you. He cannot be reasoned with. He refuses to be dissuaded by any entreaties, by any bribes, by anything at all. You are an affront to his universe and he will not tolerate your c…

  9. Awakened

    Recent college graduates, fresh from their indoctrination, are annoying people on subways and busses in every city in America. Those people will, hopefully, vote in November.
    Has there been a more important American election in decades? This is the test for the rest of us, the ones sitting home in front of our computers instead of lugging rifles in Afghanistan.

  10. Who Tends the Fires

    News that’s infused…

    I’m still not finding words in me for the Madrid bombings. Not certain if that blockage will pass… it’s too much like the icy rage that struck me after 9-11, that took more than a year before I could fully…

  11. Who Tends the Fires

    News that’s infused…

    I’m still not finding words in me for the Madrid bombings. Not certain if that blockage will pass… it’s too much like the icy rage that struck me after 9-11, that took more than a year before I could fully…

  12. Who Tends the Fires

    News that’s infused…

    I’m still not finding words in me for the Madrid bombings. Not certain if that blockage will pass… it’s too much like the icy rage that struck me after 9-11, that took more than a year before I could fully…

  13. David Reeves

    There’s enough examples from history. By letting them win we would all pay the price, and they would learn nothing.

  14. Pauly D

    I heard somewhere that the current Spanish President was waiting to say it was Al Qaida until after the elections because if he admitted to his people that it was THOSE terrorists, that they would vote him out of office, thinking that because Spain aligned with the US that was the cause of the terrorism.
    What they don’t realize is, any democratic country is in the crosshairs.

  15. Ben Turner

    As a military service member and a lefty, I’d just like to say thank you for your support for the relevance of my opinions.
    Even lefty soldiers enjoy kicking terrorist ass.

  16. Ben Turner

    As a lefty and a soldier, I want to thank you for your support in the relevancy of my opinions.
    I’m proud to be both, and I don’t see any contradiction in being both.

  17. Toby

    Excellent rant. I dig it.
    Here’s my position on the airport security – serious terrorists and industrious teenagers are still able to beat it, and giving that responsibility to the people who gave us the DMV sounds like bad thinking to me. Let’s see what some open-market competition can do for the security business- they’ll have incentives to do it thoroughly *and* quickly.
    As for more standardized testing in schools, I think it’s a bad idea. Why? Because schools, already strapped for cash in many areas, are now depending on good test performance for their budgetary survival. Some districts are already cutting things like basic US History and social studies so they can devote an entire period to teaching kids how to take the test. If parents need a test to tell them how well their kids are doing in school, THEY NEED TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THEIR KIDS. If Johnny can’t read, Mommy and Daddy should be the first ones to notice. Mommy and Daddy should be involved in little Johnny’s education- after all, parents are supposed to raise a child.
    I’m a registered independent, raised in a Democrat liberal family, educated in liberal private schools and a hyper-liberal New England college (we had *actual communists*, for God’s sake…), and I don’t think I can bring myself to vote for Kerry. That said, I can’t vote for Bush, either. The narrow-minded liberal lunatics and hyper-spin conservative pundits are grating on my last nerves… whatever happened to discourse?
    I sincerely hope McCain is healthy enough to run in 2008.

  18. M. Simon

    The Republicans would be a lot more welcome in America if they gave up their government backed progroms. The ones that are so pervasive that they go practically unnoticed.
    Like the Cocaine Price Support and Gang Finance Program.