Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fred Thompson on anti-Americianism

Thompson seems to be trying to follow in Ronald Reagan's footsteps. In addition to perhaps using his popularity from his acting career as a springboard to a presidential campaign, he's publishing columns in conservative outlets such as National Review and Townhall on issues that will appeal to Republican primary voters and increase his street cred as a conservative. This is simlar to Ronald Reagan's little radio speeches in the 1970s that helped keep his name out and opinions out there and pave the way for his successful 1980 run for the presidency.

Today, he has a column looking at some of our European critics.
Russia, though, takes the cake. Here is a government apparently run by ex-KGB agents who have no problem blackmailing whole countries by turning the crank on their oil pipelines. They're not doing anything shady, they say. They can’t help it if their opponents are so notoriously accident-prone. Criticize these guys and you might accidentally drink a cup of tea laced with a few million dollars worth of deadly, and extremely rare, radioactive poison. Oppose the Russian leadership, and you could trip and fall off a tall building or stumble into the path of a bullet.

The hundreds of demonstrators the Kremlin has had beaten and arrested in the last few weeks alone, we are told, were not pro-democracy activists but common criminals -- like world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Demonstrating without a permit is a serious crime and, luckily for the Kremlin, it turns out that pro-government youth groups seem always to have permits for rallies at the exact times and places that anti-government protesters gather.

Another group that seems to be having trouble with permits is the media. Newspapers and television stations that aren't smart enough to know that America is the enemy and that things are great in Russia can't seem to get their paperwork in order. It’s some sort of IQ test, I guess.

President Vladimir Putin, though, shows no sign that he feels defensive about his remarkable string of luck. He knows who's really to blame for "meddling" in Russian "internal affairs." It's the United States.

He's lambasting us for yielding too much power. One example of this excessive power is the missile defense radar system we want to install in Poland and the Czech Republic -- to give the free world early warning of a missile attack by terrorists or a rogue nation like Iran. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that the Russians have been supplying Iran with both nuclear and missile technology while using their UN veto to block sanctions that would force Tehran to back down. Regardless, we're clearly at fault, he says, for putting a defense system close to Mother Russia.

So I wouldn't worry too much about the criticisms we receive. We make mistakes and at times the "carping" may even be on target, but it seems to me that we ought to look at a lot of the complaints as a badge of honor.
You can never go wrong among Republican voters by hitting back at our foreign critics. Whether such columns and public appearances in the media will be enough to run a successful campaign when he hasn't yet set up an organization on the ground in the key early states is still to be seen.

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