Friday, October 29, 2004

Who'da thunk it?

BILD, the largest newspaper in Germany, endorses...BUSH? Via Davids Medienkritik, who provides the translation for the 10 reasons that BILD backs Bush:

1. Bush has clear priorities. He sees the inhuman Islamic fundamentalism and the murderous mullahs as the largest danger for the Western world.

2. Bush has learned the lessons of history. Military strength, not pleasant talk, is the only thing that helps against violent fanatics. And with Bush -- unlike with Kerry -- there is no doubt about this.

3. Under Bush, the US, as a superpower, will continue to bear the financial, military and casualty burden in the fight against terrorism in a "holy war" which Islamic fanatics unilaterally declared.

4. Along with fighting terror and the terrorists, a re-elected Bush will do everything he can to prevent nuclear proliferation. That is especially true with regard to the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea.

5. Bush has learned that America can defeat every country in war, but needs allies in peace. Thus, his second term will be characterized by cooperation with international partners. But he will not depend on how Syria or Libya vote at the UN.

6. Bush knows that Europe and Germany don’t have the military at their disposal to become involved in any further foreign military engagements. Therefore he won't ask them for help. Kerry will do exactly that – and will further burden already damaged German-American relations.

7. Under Bush, America will remain a reliable partner for Israel in its fight for survival. That must especially be in our German interest.

8. Republicans have always been stronger supporters of free trade than Democrats. That is also true of Bush when compared to Kerry. And that is good for Germany as an export nation.

9. Every new American administration makes mistakes. Bush has already made his. Kerry, on the other hand, has of yet held no (executive) position in the government. He would be worse prepared than most Presidents preceding him.

10. With Bush, we know what to expect. With Kerry, nobody knows what he stands for and where he wants to lead America – and the world.

This is certainly a surprise, but a welcome one. Finally, a European newspaper that takes the threat from Islamic terrorists seriously. I found reasons 3 and 10 particularly interesting. Number 3 is all about German self-interest: they want us to bear the burden of prosecuting this war as long as we are willing, because they realize that no one else has the ability to do it. And by first recognizing that the threat is real, BILD progresses naturally to the conclusion that if we don't fight this war, there will be no protection for Germany against the terrorists.

Number 10 is particularly damning of John Kerry. If his sophisticated European friends can't figure out what he stands for, how can he expect the less nuanced, overly simplistic, average American voter to figure it out?

I offer my applause and my sympathy to BILD. They made what must have been a tough call to endorse Bush, and will likely suffer some blowback from their virulently anti-American readership in payment.