The American Gazette

Commonsense political and social commentary from "Flyover Country"

Location: Rural Michigan, United States

Sunday, October 10, 2004

A Great Article by Reader Patrick Acer-The Ultimate Free Rider

The Ultimate Free Rider
Patrick Acer

For many years, unions struggled to organize, and workers signed cards and organized meetings and advocated at their peril. Many were beaten, intimidated, and lost their jobs.

When the unions won representation and actually signed a contract, there was great jubilation for the hard-earned gains in pay, benefits, and work-rules.

All workers got the benefits of the new contract. However, some had chosen not to sign up, and had not joined the union, and didn't pay dues to support the union.

These workers were (and are to this day) derisively known as "free-riders".

They are perfectly happy to accept the fruits of the struggles and courageous actions of others (who certainly are their betters), while never paying any price and often even criticizing the union at every turn, all the while benefiting from a larger paycheck than they would ever have received were their approach taken by all.

John Kerry is the ultimate "free rider".

He says the world is better off without Saddam, but that taking him out was the "wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time".

He says that we should have given the inspectors more time, while our troops were quartered in the sands of Kuwait and even so were forced to do combat in the sweltering spring and summer instead of the fall and inter.

He says that we should have been smart and kept Saddam contained with sanctions, knowing full well that in 2002 and 2003, France and Russia were trying new tactics to try and get the sanctions removed entirely.

He says that George Bush "misled" the country about WMD, even though he was privy to the very same intelligence.

George Bush and his cabinet had to make their decisions in the heat of the moment and in the new security environment that 9/11 forced us to deal with.

He didn't have the benefit of hindsight, nor did they have any intelligence that anyone could guarantee was 100% perfect and accurate.

He didn't have the benefit of a thousand weapons inspectors having free rein throughout Iraq for three extra years.

He didn't have the benefit of a CIA with actual eyes-on human operatives, as the Clinton administration had cut the budget and prevented hiring any assets that were not upstanding church elders or had any blotches on their records.

What he did have was a clear vision and a conviction that America could not and would not tolerate a very apparent threat from becoming another actual attack on us if he could take action that would prevent another

So today while the world benefits from the removal of Saddam, John Kerry gets to snipe from the sidelines, constantly raising questions about George Bush's integrity, without having to suffer any of the disastrous consequences that his policies and votes would have brought about. (I am frequently reminded of the international hand-wringers after Israel took out Saddam's reactor in about 1981 - they were all privately
relieved, but criticized the strike nonetheless).
Under the Kerry program, by now the weapons inspectors would have finished, finding "nothing" (which is NOT what the ISG report found - we actually documented hundreds of violations - missiles, etc). The sanctions would have been removed by dint of these results. The US military forces, degraded by a humiliating waiting game in the desert, would have been forced to pack up and go home. Saddam would have proclaimed victory, and indeed would be on his way to becoming the new Saladin of the Arabic world.

And - of course - Saddam would have immediately reconstituted his weapons programs and would have become an even bigger threat than he was in 1991. (The ISG report today verified Saddam’s intentions.)

(Oh - by the way - under the Kerry program - Saddam would still be in possession of Kuwait and would be well on his way to dominion or control of Saudi Arabia - thus giving him about 50% of the world's oil supply.)

George Bush was willing to evaluate the situation and make a decision with imperfect information, without all the facts, because waiting for 100% perfection before making a decision results in "paralysis by analysis".
The risks of not taking out Saddam - as seen from September 2002 and NOT September 2004, were unacceptable. The risks to his political future were enormous, but he put that aside and went forward putting the best interests of the country first. He accepted the risks, did the heavy lifting, took the courageous actions, and will ultimately be successful in Iraq, despite the difficult times that still lie ahead.

John Kerry and his family, and all the rest of us, will have the benefits that will accrue from the stand George Bush took, and from his principled actions, but John Kerry will get those benefits without ever having paid any dues.

John Kerry is the ultimate "free rider"

written October 7, 2004
@ Pittsford, NY


Post a Comment

<< Home