We Must Win This War


To go along with President Bush’s awesome speech last night comes this great opinion piece by Charles Johnson entitled Ready Mt. Rushmore; Bush has it right:

I was not enthused by Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. We?re spending way too much money at the federal level on non-essential programs. If it were just to prosecute the war on terror, I would be content. We must win that battle. But that is not where the bulk of the spending is going.

Many conservatives engaged in a mini-revolt against President Bush because of these things over the last few weeks.

When I was a little boy, before I had even started school, I was upset one evening because I had listened to my dad and my uncles gripe all night at a family gathering about President Kennedy. (I was a peculiar lad, fascinated by the idea of a president. I watched Kennedy on TV every time I could. I still remember his speech to the nation on the Cuban Missile Crisis. My mother thought this a strange fascination for a pre-schooler.) They had thrown out quite a few pejoratives, the mildest of which was ?bum.?

I was astonished when, after his assassination, the man they called a bum in life suddenly became St. John, whose every decision was heroic and inspired.

Ronald Reagan helped form my conservative sensibilities. I am bemused now to hear conservatives speak as if Reagan could do no wrong. I remember, during his tenure, often harsh criticism from the right.

At various times it was posited that Chief of Staff James Baker had hijacked the Reagan agenda. Others blamed Nancy Reagan. Remember the plaintive conservative battle cry, ?Let Reagan be Reagan??

Lawyers who practiced with Abraham Lincoln occasionally expressed astonishment at his style. Lincoln would concede point after point in court and yet still usually win his case. A friend with more insight into the man offered an explanation: that Lincoln?s genius was his ability to zero in on what was fundamental. He would concede everything that was not central to his main point, but would not yield an inch on what was key to it.

It is a characteristic that George Bush has in common with Lincoln. Since 9/11, his presidency has been focused entirely on the great challenge of defeating an ideology that uses depraved tactics in an effort to enslave the entire world.

[…]It seemed to me 12 years ago that we needed to do several things if we were to prevent global terrorism from becoming the greatest threat to mankind and freedom in history. First, we needed to respond swiftly, ruthlessly and with overwhelming power to any terrorist activity in order to make clear to all that the cost of terrorist tactics was far greater than the gain. Second, we needed to treat nations which harbored and nurtured terrorists as belligerents. I?ve always believed it is not enough to swat mosquitoes; it is necessary to get serious about draining the swamp.

[…]On 9-11 lightning struck and the first loud thunderclap was heard. For a time, our attention was united, focused and serious. For some it remained that way. For others, there was a retreat within a year back to political carping and business as usual.

One whose attention remained focused was George W. Bush. The man was transformed by the attack. He understood almost immediately the nature and scope of the threat. That evening he promised on national television that, henceforth, we would go after terrorists and the nations which harbor terrorists.

Since that day, Bush has remained focused on that great challenge. Everything in his presidency has been designed to protect our national will. He has been bold, steady, and resolved under the most withering undeserved criticism that any president has suffered since Lincoln.

What he knows that the nation at large does not yet understand is that this war has barely begun. Before it is finished it will be a struggle for survival for the entire western world and for the concept of freedom, itself. When one side is utterly determined to murder all the ?infidels? there is no splitting the difference.

Bush understands that and is determined to leave this nation prepared for the conflict to come. When he is gone, we will miss him dearly. He does not have long enough to win the war on terror, but the wrong man could already have lost it.

Lincoln understood that before anything else good could be accomplished, the survival of the union must be assured. If it collapsed, despite all its warts, the last, best hope that mankind could live free would perish from the earth.

Bush understands that we face the same stakes in our confrontation with global Islamofascism. Though he has never said it quite so well, Bush?s determination that??that nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal shall not perish from the earth? is why this great, and occasionally flawed man will be remembered as one of the greatest presidents in our history.

It is why I am inclined to give him a lot of leeway. He?s got the big one right while so many around him dither.

Many people, including some on the right just do not understand how lucky we were to have Bush in office on 9/11. If Gore had been in office we would have been in a world of hurt right now.

While I disagree with Bush on some things, as I have stated before, he has gotten the most important thing right. The War on Terror. This is gonna be a long war and he has laid the foundation for succeeding Presidents to take over, I only hope the next President will carry on as Bush did.

An interesting side note is the issue Charles brings up about the popularity of Reagan. I recall many on the far right were always upset with him, both as Governor and President. He was savaged by the MSM and the far right but he kept focused on what the big issue was.

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I think, many years from now, history books will record President Bush as one of our greatest presidents. A mover and a shaker who didn’t just try to get by, maintaining the status quo. The stutus quo brought us 9/11. What most people don’t seem to realize is that we really are waging a war of civilizations, of which Iraq is just one battle. A crucial one at that, as our liberal fellow citizens seem to have hamstrung our ability to win, and move on to the next problem. President Bush never said this would be easy. His “Mission Accomplished” speech still stands today. I think when all is said and done, many people are going to find that in these crucial times, they stood on the wrong side of history.