[I wrote this on the airplane and have only made a few minor edits.]
George Bush has been catching a lot of flak lately. I find that whenever one makes sweeping generalizations, it is best to back it up with a personal anecdote. At my last JHU College Republicans meeting, before the president of our club had showed up, one of the high-ranking members posed this question: “Does W suck?” The general consensus seemed to be a reluctant (or perhaps not-so-reluctant) “yes.” Mind you, this is the core of the College Republicans. I don’t think we’re alone, or else Bush wouldn’t be enjoying a 37% approval rating. After a lackluster State of the Union address, Republicans seem to be disillusioned.
I wouldn’t be saying this if I wasn’t experiencing some level of disillusionment myself. I’m disappointed with the situation in Iraq. I’m disappointed with the situation with Iran. And I’ll throw in North Korea too, just to round out the Axis of Evil. I’m disappointed with Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. I’m disappointed with the wiretapping. Yep, folks, I’m disappointed overall with how the War on Terror is going.
Yet, let us take a closer look at this War on Terror. It is come to my attention that there are some problems in defining this war. We’ve got Glenn Reynolds, celebrated right-wing blogger, saying on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show: “Terrorism is an information war disguised as a military conflict.” I must strongly disagree. I hate to play the 9/11 card and play off emotions, but it is necessary. I hardly think 3000 dead constitutes some kind of mirage of violent conflict.
See that? That’s not some disguise. That’s an attack on the American people. As I’ve said before, 9/11 was an overt act of war. It’s disappointing that a lot of people don’t understand that. John Kerry, the former presidential candidate, wanted to turn this war into a law enforcement issue. You fight a war with soldiers, not policemen. Youâ€™re not going to destroy any terrorist camps that way. Thomas Friedman implores that we not let 9/11 define us. Should we have cried, “We will not let Pearl Harbor define us?” Wait, before you cry “false dichotomy,” hear me out. The point I want to make is that we’ll never win this war by playing defense, by trivializing this conflict, or ignoring it. We need to get off our asses and fight. Ladies and gentlemen, the barbarians have sacked Rome, and we seem content to fiddle with our remote controls while the nation burns.
There’s only one person in power who seems to realize that we’re at war: George W. Bush. That’s why we reelected him in 2004. Despite the flaws and disappointments, he’s the only one who realizes that 9/11 did change everything. One can rightfully make a case that he has gone too far in some instances, in extending presidential power, but I say better too much than too little. Some may argue with my reasoning. They may say, “Yes, Bush recognizes that there is a war, but heâ€™s gone about it wrong. He may have the best intentions, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Yes, it is true that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. However: Apathy Avenue is a quicker road to hell than Good Intentions Way. Good Intentions may lead us to hell, but it is a circuitous route, and we have many opportunities to right ourselves. In the grips of apathy, there is no destination but Self-Destruction.
In fact, let me state in plain terms what has been said earlier: I agree that George W. Bush has extended his executive powers too far. Thus, I wish Congress would grow a backbone and curtail these abuses of power. As a conservative who distrusts big government of all type, and as a liberal, in the classic sense, who wishes to guard against tyranny, I think this is of the utmost importance. However, Congress must do so in a responsible manner. The problem is that I don’t trust Congress to do so. I don’t think Congress recognizes that we’re at war. I don’t think Congress recognizes that whether it should have happened or not, Iraq is a front in the War on Terror. If we lose in Iraq, that will cause more to flock to Osama’s cause than 10 Abu Ghraib’s could cause.
I don’t trust Congress to fight the War on Terror; I trust George W. Bush. Even though he’s made some errors, at least he knows that there’s a war going on. Everyone else seems content to think that 9/11 never happened. I believe this quote from Bush is apt: “Time and distance from the events of September the 11th will not make us safer unless we act on its lessons.” George Bush also made the right and just decision to invade Afghanistan. I wonder if any Democrat would have done so. I wonder if certain Republicans would have done so. That’s why I still support our president.
I will continue to criticize him, but make no mistake, I still support him. If you are a wavering Republican, I urge you to reconsider your stance regarding Bush. If you are a Democrat who voted for him in 2004, I urge you to think of why you voted for him in the first place.