Sunday, October 31, 2004

Historian Paul Johnson: Kerry Must Be Stopped

Paul Johnson is one the pre-eminent historians of the last 50 years. He has written 28 books including The History of Christianity (1976), The History of the Jews (1987), The Intellectuals (1988), and The Birth of the Modern (1991), Modern Times (1983), A History of The American People (1999), and Art: A New History (2003). He is revered across the globe for his writings, many of which have changed the way generations view history. Although he himself is British he believes, "The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures".

Paul Johnson has now spoken out about this election, and the title of his article says it all, "Campaign 2004: High Stakes: Quite simply, Kerry must be stopped; and Bush must win". The article, and his endorsement of President Bush, is the most eloquent explanation of the stakes of the current war and of the characteristics need in a leader to win that war, as has been written. An excerpt:

The great issue in the 2004 election—it seems to me as an Englishman—is, How seriously does the United States take its role as a world leader, and how far will it make sacrifices, and risk unpopularity, to discharge this duty with success and honor? In short, this is an election of the greatest significance, for Americans and all the rest of us. It will redefine what kind of a country the United States is, and how far the rest of the world can rely upon her to preserve the general safety and protect our civilization.


Yes. This election will redefine America. We will decide how seriously we take our role as world leader. We can either lead the world, or we can reduce ourselves to just another player in the world community, whose future is dependent of teh whims of institutions like the UN. He continues:

When George W. Bush was first elected, he stirred none of these feelings, at home or abroad. He seems to have sought the presidency more for dynastic than for any other reasons. September 11 changed all that dramatically. It gave his presidency a purpose and a theme, and imposed on him a mission. Now, we can all criticize the way he has pursued that mission. He has certainly made mistakes in detail, notably in underestimating the problems that have inevitably followed the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and overestimating the ability of U.S. forces to tackle them. On the other hand, he has been absolutely right in estimating the seriousness of the threat international terrorism poses to the entire world and on the need for the United States to meet this threat with all the means at its disposal and for as long as may be necessary. Equally, he has placed these considerations right at the center of his policies and continued to do so with total consistency, adamantine determination, and remarkable courage, despite sneers and jeers, ridicule and venomous opposition, and much unpopularity.

There is something grimly admirable about his stoicism in the face of reverses, which reminds me of other moments in history: the dark winter Washington faced in 1777-78, a time to “try men’s souls,” as Thomas Paine put it, and the long succession of military failures Lincoln had to bear and explain before he found a commander who could take the cause to victory. There is nothing glamorous about the Bush presidency and nothing exhilarating. It is all hard pounding, as Wellington said of Waterloo, adding: “Let us see who can pound the hardest.” Mastering terrorism fired by a religious fanaticism straight from the Dark Ages requires hard pounding of the dullest, most repetitious kind, in which spectacular victories are not to be looked for, and all we can expect are “blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” However, something persuades me that Bush— with his grimness and doggedness, his lack of sparkle but his enviable concentration on the central issue—is the president America needs at this difficult time.


If there is one feeling Bush supporters have developed over the past three years it is admiration for the President's continued struggle to protect this country in the face of relentless opposition from those who would have us delgate our national security to others. We have come to respect this President, not because of his glamourous lifestyle or charm, but because he has the character for the "hard pounding" to which Mr. Johnson refers. His conclusion:

Behind this second line of adversaries there is a far more sinister third. All the elements of anarchy and unrest in the Middle East and Muslim Asia and Africa are clamoring and praying for a Kerry victory. The mullahs and the imams, the gunmen and their arms suppliers and paymasters, all those who stand to profit—politically, financially, and emotionally—from the total breakdown of order, the eclipse of democracy, and the defeat of the rule of law, want to see Bush replaced. His defeat on November 2 will be greeted, in Arab capitals, by shouts of triumph from fundamentalist mobs of exactly the kind that greeted the news that the Twin Towers had collapsed and their occupants been exterminated.

I cannot recall any election when the enemies of America all over the world have been so unanimous in hoping for the victory of one candidate. That is the overwhelming reason that John Kerry must be defeated, heavily and comprehensively.


America's enemies have adopted the same mantra as the left in this country, "Anybody But Bush". The terrorists and the tyrants who harbor them know that they have but one hope, to defeat President Bush through politics on the ground in America. The terrorists will celebrate his defeat as a victory, in fact, they will view it as a bigger victory than was September 11th. The Left in America and around the world will also celebrate his defeat as a victory. This convergence of thought between the Left and our enemies was highlighted by the release of the Osama Bin Laden video last week. Osama used precisely the same rhetoric as many of the President's opponents in this country, not just on the Left, but his opponents in the supposedly "main stream" Democratic Party. What should concern Americans is that the Democratic party and the Left are becoming undistinguishable.

Paul Johnson sees the stakes of this election. he understands that it will be a turning point in the history of the country, and therefore the world. If we shiirk our responsibilities at this time. If we choose the line of least resistance, or to use John Kerry's own words, if we chose to return to a time when we thought terrorism was just a "nuisance", then the dynamic of the world will change. We will no longer be the leader of the world, we will be a member of a world body. Another nation, equal in strength and importance and role to France, Russia, etc. For the sake of this country, for the sake of the world, pray that Americans understand this fact and vote in large numbers to re-elect President Bush.



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