January 10, 2003


RUN, BOB, RUN: The fifth letter here suggests that Bob Graham could never get the Democratic nomination for President, because he can't gain liberal support; they're still mad at him for endorsing Reagan in 1984. They'd reject a guy who's that popular in Florida over a 19-year-old snub of Walter Mondale? I thought Republicans were supposed to be the Stupid Party.

Regardless, Graham should run anyway, for the good of the country. His take on foreign policy-- see Michael Crowley's profile for background-- is unique and needs to be heard more widely on the national stage. Middle East policy wonks are observing an increase in the threat posed by Hezbollah; it has many of the advantages of a small state-- an army, de facto control over territory from which to operate-- without any of the restraint that comes from sovereignty. Michael Ledeen fears that Hezbollah, along with Islamic Jihad and Hamas, may attack our troops in the region, which is exactly what Graham warned of when he voted against the Iraq war resolution for being too weak-- he said the president needed authorization to attack terrorists in the region in order to successfully fight Iraq.

The fight against terror groups in the Iraqi theater may happen anyway; there's not necessarily a need for explicit Congressional approval in order to fight terror groups as part of the Iraq war, if they inject themselves into the conflict. (One hopes that military planners have a contingency for that already.) Maybe the Bush administration sees disadvantages to talking in public about this threat; perhaps they feel it would be undiplomatic to look too pro-Israel in front of the Arabs and the Eurocrats, or maybe they're afraid of provoking attacks that aren't a fait accompli. But it would be tremendously healthy for the country to hear warnings about this threat from someone. Since the aforementioned disadvantages lie in international exposure to this kind of talk, the ideal person to discuss this would get decent national exposure, but not much international exposure. Who better than a Democratic primary candidate?

Bob Graham, your country needs you-- even if your party doesn't want you.

Posted by John Tabin at January 10, 2003 05:41 AM