For fans of President George W. Bush who have been wondering where the fight went over the past few months, the question has been answered in his last several appearances especially at an impromptu press conference this past Monday morning. He’s back. He’s angry. And he’s committed to finishing what he started: winning the war on terror, settling for nothing less than victory, not agonizing appeasement and withdrawal as his opponents want him to do.
Visibly more comfortable at his press conference as the plain talking, straight-from-the-shoulder Bush, the President scythed through the Washington press corps with grim determination, not suffering the usual fools but mowing them steadily with determination and purpose. You would think by now that the opposition had learned that the way to beat Bush is to pretend to accommodate and let him trip himself up. Instead the left falls back on what it does best: personal attack, unfounded allegation, destructive innuendo, and hollow threats. It have been John Kerry’s crack about winning the House in ’06 in order to “begin impeachment proceedings,” that sent the prez off on a tear.
Maybe the President simply has had a gut full of the constant carping, dissembling, and second-guessing that characterizes today’s Democrats. Never willing to go out on a limb with a positive suggestion, the party with precious few exceptions is preoccupied with trying to destroy Bush personally and professionally. Some of this vitriol lingers like last night’s stale cooking odor in the Democrat kitchen. And as a party it is making them sick to their stomach. You don’t have to look far to hear carping about the 2000 election still out there, along with imaginary 2004 voter irregularities, “Bush lied,” “shredding the Constitution,” and even – I’m not making this up – blood for oil. The party needs a purgative. Or at least a leader sufficiently bold to open the windows and let in some fresh air.
But characteristic of George Bush – as with Harry Truman, FDR, and Ronald Reagan – when he gets pushed too far he pushes back - hard. Truman was ready to punch out a Washington newspaper columnist just for maligning daughter Margaret’s lousy piano playing. Listening to W take a leaf from Give-‘em-hell-Harry’s playbook at the Monday press conference one could almost hear his boot thumping into selective reporter’s backsides will well-deserved vigor. Since most of the press is shilling for the Democrats they are going to have to accept the fact that when lumps are being distributed they will receive their fair share.
What has the Democrat Party sunk to when the best they can do is whine and complain without even a word of praise for troops or for the country in wartime? We hear Jack Murtha from Pennsylvania say the American Army is “broken” and that the war is “lost.” Howard Dean, DNC chairman, tells us the “war is unwinnable.” Nancy Pelosi, rather than congratulate the Iraqi people on a remarkable electoral achievement grouses that “now they can take care of themselves,” and wants to “bring the troops home immediately.” John Kerry, to no one’s surprise, attacks the character of the troops, comparing today’s soldiers to “terrorists breaking into Iraqi homes at night.”
This is the party of war-fighting Democrats like FDR, HST, and JFK? Other than Joe Liberman it is unrecognizable. America needs a strong Democrat Party, but on the model of Scoop Jackson and San Nunn, not Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan. The Washington Post discussed Democrat strategy: “Key Democrat operatives and legislators are slowly coalescing around a political plan [that] would involve setting a broad time frame for drawing down U.S. troops and blaming Bush for misleading the country into a war without a victory plan. Their aim is to ‘provide the party enough maneuvering room to allow Democrats to adjust their position as conditions in Iraq change.’”
The Post explains that this policy of equivocation and blame is the result of fears that publicly pushing for a hasty withdrawal from Iraq would jeopardize the party's chances of succeeding in 2006. Thus, as Paul Mirengoff analyzes, “for the third straight election, mainstream Democrats intend to craft their position on matters of war and peace based on political calculation, not their view of the national interest.”
We all need to take a hard look at American career politicians who – while forbidding us to challenge their patriotism – are willing to sell the country out in time of war. This is a shameful, cowardly posture. Cut and run, retreat and defeat, are not ways to make America more secure and to win over an aberrant, hostile ideology of Islamofascism that is determined to kill and kill some more until it has triumphed over Western civilization. While those words sound hyperbolic to some here in America they are quotes from Usama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahari, Muhammad Atef, and other terror masters.
In the 1930s a minor German politician named Hitler wrote a book outlining in chilling detail his vision of world conquest, elimination of international Jewry, and promulgation of a thousand year master race. He was not taken seriously. He was never challenged when he was weak. But through policies of abject appeasement and a foolhardy desire for “peace at any price” was allowed to grow in strength until he dictated terms of war and peace. Millions died. Students of that period ask how could people have been so foolish, so naïve? Why didn’t the West stop him when we had the chance?
Those questions are every bit as valid in today’s fight as they were then. George W. Bush understands the nature of the fight. He knows we are in a war of civilizations and that we have only one option: win, and win decisively. We have made mistakes in this war as countries have in every previous war. We will make more errors until over time we get it right. We are winning despite what the defeatists would have us believe. And we will win decisively if we find the steel in our backbones to support the president.
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