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The inimitable Mark Steyn

Posted by Richard on February 17, 2006

Mark Steyn was on the Hugh Hewitt Show Thursday evening and he nailed several topics in his inimitable way. Transcript and MP3 are available at Radio Blogger. Here’s Steyn on the Saddam tapes aired by ABC’s Nightline:

MS: Well, I’m not sure what to make of them, either. But I think the point is this. When you have a regime that behaves as if it has dangerous weapons, and it’s going to use those weapons. I think the responsibility of the non-insane world is to take those guys at their word. And you know, we see that lesson playing out in Iran. You know, this guy could be bluffing, but so what? The guy who shouts fire in the crowded theater could be bluffing, too. And the lesson of the modern world is if you wait to find out whether these guys have got it all nailed down chapter and verse, and they can really do what they threaten to do half the time, you’re going to lose your world. I don’t want to do that.

HH: Have you even figured out how ABC came by these tapes yet?

MS: No, I haven’t. I don’t know that, to be honest. I assume maybe they gave them to David Gregory in compensation for not giving him the press release on the hunting story in a timely manner.

Steyn on Al Gore’s speech in Jeddah accusing the U.S. of "indiscriminately" rounding up Saudis and mistreating them:

MS: Well, you know, I think the great thing about Al Gore is that the minute Al Gore is on your side, you’re over.

HH: (laughing)

MS: That applies to Howard Dean. Howard Dean’s presidential campaign died when Al Gore endorsed him. When Al Gore said the Day After Tomorrow was one of the most critically important statements on the ecological situation of the planet ever made, you knew instantly it was going to be a hilarious piece of junk. … And for Al Gore to go there and kiss up to the House of Saud is not just completely contemptable, but as I said, politically tone deaf.

Steyn on George Will and the Bush doctrine (emphasis added):

MS: Well, I think George Will is like a lot of conservatives. I like George Will enormously, but, and he’s got a very sharp mind. But he doesn’t basically accept the premise of the Bush doctrine, which is that you can somehow change the culture of our enemies’ states, in other words, the Middle Eastern states, Afghanistan, Pakistan, that you can somehow change them, and make them more like us. And you’re right…he’s right to an extent that you can’t give liberty to people. They have to want it. But on the other hand, it’s a hard job, but there’s actually not much alternative to it. You have to somehow say to these people you have to find a way to reach an accommodation between your religion and the modern world, because just saying it can’t be done is no answer to anything. That condemns us all, essentially, to a majority Muslim planet in which American will be isolated and very short of friends. And the Bush doctrine is a long shot, but it’s better than just consigning ourselves to hopelessness. And I respectfully disagree with George Will, and I wish he could see that.

That’s been my position for the past three years: This war sucks, and the whole plan is a long shot. But no one’s come up with a credible alternative. Note to my fellow libertarians: Bringing all the troops home and hoping that Eurabia somehow doesn’t happen, and that the Islamofascists lose interest in extending the ummah across the entire globe, and that we can all just get along — well, I don’t see that as a credible alternative.

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