Surprise, surprise! The U.K. Guardian is endorsing John F. Kerry for U.S. president!
This is the same newspaper, of course that launched the ludicrous “Dear Clark County” campaign in which thousands of genteel-leftist Guardian-readers wrote to the residents of Springfield, Ohio, and thereabout and received thousands of e-mails in return saying, “Brits, butt out!” Apparently frustrated, Guardian television columnist Charlie Brooker recommended a speedier way to remove George W. Bush from the White House: assassinate him. (Brooker and the Guardian later apologized, claiming that Booker intended only an “ironic joke.”)
Despite these setbacks, the Guardian is still at it. “Mr Bush has proved a terrifying failure in the world?s most powerful office,” declare the Guardianistas.
The biggest question to a Yank like me, of course is: What business has a Brit paper trying to influence our elections. But the Guardianistas have an answer (if a windy answer) to that one, too:
“There is no nation in the history of the planet whose strength and actions more directly affect the whole human race than the United States. To an unprecedented degree, America makes the world’s weather. Its economic, military and cultural might shapes our lives. If America goes to war, we are all embroiled, as the events of the past three years have certainly shown. If the American economy booms or busts, then ours follows suit. If America spurns global agreements on climate change, the whole planet is more vulnerable. Even our domestic politics are shaped by theirs, as the last three years have again dramatically proved. We may not have a vote, but our interests are at stake on November 2, as surely as if we lived in Ohio, Oklahoma or Oregon ourselves.”
O.K., Guardian-people. Just don’t move here.
Fortunately, InkWell reader K.S. forwards us this editorial from the Guardian’s rival, the U.K. Telegraph, which is, refreshingly, endorsing Bush. “I implore you to post this!” begs K.S., and we agree: The Telegraph’s comments are must-reading. As the paper?s editorial-writer points out, Britain’s export economy has soared over the past three years thanks to Bush’s commitment to free trade (a commitment that his opponent does not share, as the writer points out).
But there is another, more important reason why the Telegraph hopes that Bush will carry the polls tomorrow:
“The video-taped message by Osama bin Laden released on Friday included a nauseating attack on the President who, this fanatical mass murderer said, left ‘50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone, because he thought listening to a child discussing her goats was more important’ — a contemptible reference to the fact that Mr Bush was in a Florida classroom when he heard the news of the World Trade Center atrocity. The fact that bin Laden’s long-awaited ‘October surprise’ was a captious video message rather than a fresh terrorist outrage is — we fervently hope — a sign that al-Qaeda’s operational capacity has been seriously eroded by George W Bush’s war on terror.
“But on one point, bin Laden could not have been more explicit. ‘Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush,’ he told the American people. The Islamic fundamentalists will continue their barbarous campaign, irrespective of who is in the White House. The question, then, is which of the two candidates is better qualified to be commander-in-chief as the war on terror proceeds.
“Britain has 9,000 troops in Iraq, hundreds of whom are being drawn into the less stable regions of the country at American request. For the foreseeable future, our troops will play a central role in the bringing of order to the liberated country. Mr Bush has made many mistakes in Iraq. But one thing is certain: Saddam Hussein has been deposed. Mr Kerry is not even sure that the Iraqi dictator’s tyranny would be over had he been President. ‘He might be gone,’ is as far as he was willing to go in an interview with NBC last week.
“Indeed, Mr Kerry’s position on the war could scarcely be more muddled. The Senator voted for the invasion (unlike the first Gulf War, which he voted against). However, last October, he voted against an appropriation to support American soldiers dealing with the aftermath of a war he had approved. He has said that Mr Bush failed to commit enough troops to Iraq, but at the same time has promised to start bringing American soldiers home six months after taking office. Who, then, will plug the gap? The French foreign minister, Michel Barnier, has said that France will ‘never’ send its troops to Iraq, even if Mr Kerry does win. Germany is no less forthright. How does the Democrat candidate propose to ‘win’ in Iraq – as he says he would – in such operational circumstances?
“Mr Kerry has done everything to encourage the charge that he is stranded in the world of September 10. ‘We have to get back to the place we were,’ he said this month, ‘where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance.’ That would no doubt be desirable. But nothing Mr Kerry has said suggests that he knows how to achieve this goal. The intellectual vacuum at the heart of his candidacy has profound implications for Britain’s strategic interests and the lives of our troops: in both cases, this country would be better served by the re-election of Mr Bush.”
We can use these words to gloat at the Guardian if we like: See, not all Brits are feckless, hand-wringing appeasers! But we can also rejoice more quietly, knowing that there are others in the world who are aware of the sobering reality that radical Islamic terrorism is not something that can be wished away by sipping Dom Perignon with Jacques Chirac.
“You are considered twisted and retarded if you support Bush in this election. I have never come across a candidate who is so reviled. Reagan was sniggered it, but this is personal, real hatred.
“Indeed, I was at a…dinner,… and said: ‘If all else fails, you can vote for Bush.’ People looked at me as if I had just said: ‘Oh, I forgot to tell you, I am a child molester.’ I would vote for Bush if for no other reason than to be at the airport waving off all the people who say they are going to London if he wins again. Someone has got to stay behind….
“I think support for Bush is about not wanting to be led by East-coast pretensions. It is about not wanting to be led by people who are forever trying to force their twisted sense of morality onto us, which is a non-morality. That is constantly done, and there is real resentment. Support for Bush is about resentment in the so-called ‘red states’ — a confusing term to Guardian readers, I agree — which here means, literally, middle America. I come from one of those states myself, Virginia. It’s the same resentment, indeed, as that against your own newspaper when it sent emails targeting individuals in an American county….No one cares to have outsiders or foreigners butting into their affairs.”