Well, it’s been a busy time for me but I could not let this thankathon go by without providing my own post to thank a great President. One I am so thankful was in office after Sept. 11th 2001.
One of the best qualities in the man that I will sorely miss is that he never backed down on something he felt was right due to public opinion. He knew we had to finish the Iraqi mess once and for all after 9/11. There was no way we could allow Saddam to thumb his nose at the world, supporting terror, and obtaining WMD, in a post-9/11 world. He knew 13 years of conjoling, begging and pleading was enough. But even then he gave Saddam a chance to stop it. He didn’t just give him a chance to stop the war from happening he went to the UN for help in getting him to comply with a strong resolution. A resolution that any sane leader would have recognized was his last chance:
…in 2002 President Bush bucked the advice of his more hawkish advisers and agreed to take Tony Blair’s advice and seek another U.N. Resolution — was it the 16th or 17th? — against Saddam Hussein. Resolution 1441 passed 15-0. True, the Administration failed to obtain a second resolution, not least because the French reneged on private assurances that it would agree to a second resolution if America obtained the first.
He has done everything in his power to insure that we would not be attacked again. Again, making unpopular decisions, but he never backed down in the face of public opinion because he knew it was the right thing to do. We do not find many politicians like that. It’s a rare quality and the one I will miss sorely.
He put two great justices onto the Supreme Court in Samuel Alito and John Roberts. Something that will pay dividends for many years to come.
He is leaving a strong alliance with Europe:
This American president will bequeath his successor an alliance with Europe as robust and healthy as at any time in the post-Cold War period.
Pro-American governments are in charge in Paris, a first since 1945, as well as every other major European capital (London, Berlin, Warsaw, Rome) except Madrid. On Russia and China, on terrorism, rogue states and the spread of weapons of mass destruction, Europe and America share the strategic diagnosis, if not wholly the cure. A revived NATO leads missions in Afghanistan and the Balkans.
To be sure, Europe hasn’t fallen in love with hard power, and Washington didn’t sign up for unfettered multilateralism. The improved outlook in Iraq, and the Bush administration’s decision to lay off Iran, defused two potential flashpoints late in its term. Even so, recent years have seen a Euro-American rapprochement take hold that silenced shrill predictions of “divorce” or worse in the wake of the Iraq war.
“Trans-Atlantic relations are rather good at the moment,” says a senior European Union foreign policy adviser who requests anonymity and is not inclined to Panglossian views of the alliance. “Better than ever,” adds another, Alar Olljum, who runs the in-house think tank for the European Commission.
Europeans tend to find explanations in altered American behavior. Here “Bush One” is pitted against “Bush Two”: the first term of unilateralism and Iraq and the second of kinder, gentler diplomacy. Condoleezza Rice kicked off the charm offensive with a speech in Paris in early 2005 calling for a fresh start. Europe and America, she said, must together seize “a historic opportunity to shape a global balance of power that favors freedom.” Robert Gates replaced the European bête noire Don Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.
Yet the Bush policy on NATO, the Mideast or other big issues didn’t change significantly from the first to second terms. Europe itself did.
And finally I will leave off with The Anchoress from a post she did in 2007 in response to the Bush bashing from the right, of all places, due to the immigration issue. One issue I never agreed with the man about.
Betrayal is such a strong word; did he betray you, really?
- Did he protect us from the reach & province of the International Criminal Court? Yes.
- Did he keep us from the Kyoto mess that is currently tying up Europe? Yes.
- Did he create a workable alternative to Kyoto that other countries have embraced? Yes. Bet you didn’t know that!
- Have US Carbon Emissions decreased on his watch, without Kyoto? Yes.
- Did he submit a comprehensive energy plan that got killed by a weak congress? Yes.
- Has he lowered the deficit ahead of schedule in time of war? Yes. Even the NYTimes admits it!
- Did he cut taxes? Twice? Yes. And yes.
- Did he try to get the cuts made permanent? Yes. Congress dropped that ball.
- Did he stop government funding of EMBRYONIC stem cell research? Yes.
- Has he kept the promises he made as he held a dead cop’s shield before the Joint Houses? Yes.
- Did he go after the Taliban and AlQaeda in Afghanistan barely a month after 9/11? Yes.
- Has he been unflagging in his efforts to subdue terrorism, worldwide? Yes.
- Has be been the consistent voice for human liberty around the globe? Yes.
- After some serious missteps, is the surge working? Yes.
- Has he been a staunch friend to Israel, the only stable democracy in a frantic region? Yes.
- Did he end the farce of world-wide Arafat admiration? Yes
- Did he remove Saddam Hussein, whose state supported terrorists, from power? Yes.
- Did he invade Iraq at a time when the whole world believed Saddam had and “would use” WMD? Yes.
- Did he bring a much-maligned coalition with him? Yes. Some are still there.
- Did he liberate 50,000 people in keeping with the ideals of the 1998 Iraqi Liberation Act? Yes.
- Has he inspired the Iraqi people to finally believe enough in freedom to fight AlQaeda with us? YES!
- Has he figured out that a free and engaged Middle East makes America safer? Yes.
- Has he kept you safe since 9/11? So safe that you’ve almost forgotten to fear? Yes.
- Did he remove “the wall” between the CIA and the FBI? Yes.
- Did he go to the UN before invading Iraq? Yes.
- Did he tell the UN that the US would never ask permission to defend herself? Yes.
- Did he inspire Libya to surrender it’s WMD without firing a shot? Yes.
- Did he appoint excellent SCOTUS and Federal Judges to the bench? Yes.
- Did he implement the NSA terrorist eavesdropping program? Yes.
- Did he immediately move to freeze assets and make terror funding more difficult? Yes.
- Did he reform Medicare? Yes.
- Did he reform Social Security to give you more power over your money? He tried. See Congress.
- Did he manage an economy thru recession, terror attack & war w/ consistent gains for over ten quarters? Yes.
- Has he kept unemployment between 5.5% and 4.4% for an impressive period? Yes.
- Does he say what he means and mean what he says? Yes.
- Did he try to address immigration last year, when the houses in his party? Yes.
- Does he support the second amendment? Yes.
- Does he support school vouchers and school choice? Yes.
- Did he sign the ban on Partial Birth Abortion? Yes. It went to court, but he signed it.
- Did he reverse Clinton’s intent to kill Reagan’s pro-life Mexico policy? Yes.
- Did he support the Defense of Marriage Act? Yes. That used to be vitally important to you.
- Did he expand the roles of faith-based organizations in social programs? Yes.
- Did he prosecute the white-collar criminals like Ken Lay who ran riot through the ‘90’s? Yes.
- Has he handled himself with enormous courage, dignity and grace in the face of world/media/hate?
- Is he a man with a creed before he’s anything else? Yes.
- Did he establish Health Savings accounts? Yes.
- Did he have the Border Patrol installing monitoring devices along the borders? Yes.
- Has he made mistakes? Yes. Some undeniable beauts.
- Has he been an imperfect president? Yes.
- Has he spent too much? Probably.
- Has he given you most of what you’ve wanted? Actually, looking at the list…yes!
- Has he dared to disagree with anyone to keep his principles, even you? Yes.
Has he really been your Judas? Has he really betrayed you?
What she said.
He leaves us with a safer country. A strong country. A proud country.
Thank you President Bush. You will be sorely missed.
Job well done!