I am often touched by the dramatic return home of our men and women who have been fighting in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am sensitive to the sacrifices that they and their loved ones make and by the bravery of their willingness to risk life and limb to serve this nation’s cause. The fact that I have not made the sacrifice is something that will always make me inferior to these true patriots and heroes. So my appreciation for our soldiers is sincere and profound. Which is why when ever I am privy to the scenes of our hero’s returning home, I literally begin to shed a sentimental tear of gratitude, pride and joy.
Their homecomings are a raw nerve of emotions that seem to pour out as they unfold with scenes of smiling wives and girlfriends and Moms and sisters come running to embrace their loved ones. I am always floored by the beaming smiles and wide, anxious eyes of a soldier reaching out to touch the baby, their baby, who was born while they were off at war, and have never seen met in person.
All these scenes just pull at my heart strings but the video that I present to you below had added meaning for me. It demonstrated to me, one man’s level of true sincerity and his true appreciation for the men and women who have fought in this nation’s recent wars. That man is former President George W. Bush.
Since he has left office, most all that anyone has heard about him is their belief that he is responsible for all that is wrong in the world and that he will go down in history as the worst President in history. Other than that, we hear President Obama blame every failure of his own former President Bush. Those are the sentiments that the mainstream media conveys on a daily basis. Yet they fail to point out the true reasons for the economic downturn that world economy has taken and they refuse to acknowledge how once President Obama took office, he saw fit to carry out the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, in accordance with the previous Administrations handling and timelines of those wars.
The hypocrisy and illegitimacy of all the negativism directed at Bush is enough to make a lesser man bitter. But not G. W. Bush. He sits by allowing the current Administration to lead as they fit and without any opposition or tongue lashings from him and instead of countering the Democrat regime in Washington, every time they attack and slander, he simply lets it go, resigned with confidence that history will judge him properly and prove him just.
George Bush has always been a sincere man. He has always said what he believes and done what he believed to be right, regardless of credit or blame. And apparently that has not changed.
Without any fanfare or press releases, without any massive entourages or television camera and without any need for credit or public approval, President Bush and his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, arrived at Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport last week to welcome home soldiers returning from Iraq.
A group of local citizens organize welcome home events that insures the presence of Americans at the gates that returning soldiers pass through when they come home. These people shower these soldiers, with thanks and welcomes that demonstrate their appreciation and pride in them. It is in sharp contrast to the welcome home that many Viet Nam Vets received when they returned home from war. Many them walked in to protests, where they were called names and spat on. But to insure that history does not repeat itself and that our defenders of freedom are treated with respect, tens of thousands of America coordinate efforts that offer returning soldiers a warm welcome that holds them up as heroes, not as villains.
But on this particular day, when these Iraqi soldiers stepped off their plane, at the end of the line of dozens of ordinary citizens who showered them with thanks and praise, was President and Mrs. Bush.
It must have been a big surprise andan incredibly fulfilling moment to be thanked by a President, especially the one whom the they were there as all the events that events that led up to their missions transpired under.
If you have a few moments, whatch this video for yourself. You will surely find it to be simply inspring and heartwarming.
There are those who, till even this day, base their entire political being on the claim that the war in Iraq was wrong and had no legitimate foundation behind it . Some even join with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and claim that we lost the war.
These isolationists and leftists maintain, that there was absolutely no reason for the United States to focus any military attention on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the days, months and even years after 9/11.
With creative flair, they refer to 9/11 as a ploy and claim that supporters of Operation Iraqi Freedom simply used 9/11 as an excuse. Others delve deeper and extrapolate that the true reason behind the overthrow of Hussein was a corporate conspiracy spearheaded by oil interests led by Haliburton. Others say it was a family matter that involved the revenge of one presidential son of another President who Saddam once tried to assassinate.
Putting aside theoretical liberal reasoning for Republican support of the Iraqi war and their tendency to believe that Republicans do not care about the lives of those who carry the war out, what these people fail to realize and comprehend are facts. They fail to accept the reality of the time.
Most basic to the reality that they deny is the fact that overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the policy of the United States since 1991. Initially we urged the people of Iraq to do it. Unfortunately those we hoped to do so, such as the Kurds, are also the people we left hanging and they paid dearly for it.
In 1995, under President Clinton, the C.I.A. organized a covert coup to topple Saddam Hussein. It failed.
Three years later, still acknowledging the threat that Saddam Hussein posed, in 1998, President Clinton signed into law a congressionally approved bill called The Iraqi Liberation Act.
Through it all, Democrats and Republicans alike agreed on few things other than the fact that an Iraq led by Saddam Hussein was an Iraq that threatened American interests, Mid East peace and international security.
Other small factors included things like cease fire agreements and United Nations resolutions.
After the original Gulf War, Saddam signed treaties promising to stop the production and procurement of WMD‘s. He made a commitment to permit UN weapons inspectors to verify that he was not in breach of these treaties and he was also not allowed to oppose our enforcement of U.S. no-fly zones. Yet for the twelve years after the Gulf War, Saddam repeatedly violated the terms of the cease fire agreement that he had with the U.S.. Additionally, he denied weapons inspectors proper access to establishing proper inspections. He also repeatedly shot our aircrafts in the no-fly zones and violated seventeen Security Council resolutions regarding weapons development and procurement.
I would contend, that if the American word is to mean something in the world, we should have removed Saddam immediately following the very first time he violated the cease fire agreement that we had with him. That would have eliminated his threat back in late 1991. But we didn’t.
I would contend that we had reason to topple Saddam after he defied the very first UN resolution regarding inspections. But we didn’t.
Instead we allowed him to skirt the terms that were established to contain him and render his ability to be a threat ineffectual.
It wasn’t until after 9/11 that America realized that the risks we faced were great and the threats that exist are serious.
Up until 9/11, aside from shooting back on an Iraqi jet that fired at us outside of an established no-fly zone in Iraq, a failed C.I.A. backed coup, a continuous string of disregard for UN violations and inability to enforce proper weapons inspections and a signed congressional act calling for the liberation of Iraq, we did little more than provide lip service to the agreed fact that Saddam Hussein was a danger and needed to be eliminated.
President Bill Clinton said on February 4, 1998, “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line”
On December 16, 1998 high liberal lord Al Gore said, “If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He’s already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons”.
Around this same time, based on information collected by the Clinton administration, long before anyone could even accuse the Bush administration of falsifying facts, Nancy Pelosi said ” Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of WMD technology which is a threat to countries in the region and has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process”.
According to liberal lion, Ted Kennedy in an interview on October 6, 2002…….”Saddam Hussein is a dangerous figure. He’s got dangerous weapons”.
Shortly after that, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd stated ”The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked upon on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities”
Before his campaign for the presidency of the United States was official, a previous liberal standard bearer of today’s liberal Democrat party, John Kerry said, ” Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime…..He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction….So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real”
It was rather obvious that Saddam needed to go and that fact never changed. Years later, even after there being no weapons of mass destruction found, other evidence of sinister intentions does exist. The discovery of over 500 degraded missile casings designed to carry deadly chemicals actually supports such conclusions.
Then there exists the evidence of what Saddam was known to actually be doing.
Leading Iraqi inspectors and figures with the International Atomic Energy Agency stated “there was evidence that the Iraqis continued research and development “right up until the end” to improve their ability to produce ricin. “They were mostly researching better methods for weaponization,”
They add “Iraq did make an effort to restart its nuclear weapons program in 2000 and 2001, but that the evidence suggested that the program was rudimentary at best and would have taken years to rebuild, after being largely abandoned in the 1990’s….”
All of this points to the fact that there was little disagreement regarding Saddam Hussein between both Democrats and Republicans and there was little to distinguish any difference between the Bush administration or the Clinton administration when it came to Iraq.
All except for one.
After the devastating results of 9/11 materialized, the administration of President George W. Bush decided to take action. President Bush decided that lip service was no longer a good enough strategy when it came to eliminating threats.
That explanation produces a knee-jerk reply from the left and isolationists. To that, like Pavlov’s dog, they jump to their feet and scream “but Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 or terrorists”.
An oversimplification of events might make their stale reply seem rational but a scratch of the surface of that shallow argument reveals the truth, which those who make that claim, refuse to accept.
Although there has been no connection between the 19 terrorists who participated in the hijacking of the airplanes that produced 9/11, there is no denying that they were terrorists and as a result, on September 20th, 2001, President Bush declared a War On Terror and in a speech to the nation he said, “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.…”
Keeping that in mind, even though none of the 19, 9/11 hijackers came through Iraq, there is no doubt that, through Saddam Hussein, Iraq was a safe haven for terrorists with a so-called “global reach”. The list of terrorists that fall into this category includes, but is not limited to:
Abdul Rahman Yasin, one of the conspirators in the 1993
Khala Khadr al-Salahat, who created the bomb for the Libyans that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland
Abu Abas, mastermind of the October 1985 Achille Lauro hijacking and murder of Leon Klinghoffer
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, formerly a director of an al Qaeda training base in Afghanistan before he reentered the insurgency that followed the post Saddam days of Iraq”.
Given those names alone, bringing the overthrow of Saddam Hussein into the War On Terror was, and still remains, a legitimate part of the greater battle.
After 9/11, to have ignored Iraq and allowed Saddam to continue to rule with impunity would have been an irresponsible continuation of doing nothing more than offering dire warnings about what could happen and presenting legislation symbolic of what we should do to prevent it from coming to fruition.
In its wake, armchair generals, with more hindsight than foresight, took to calling this front misguided and a diversion. Yet what diversion was created? A diversion which attracted other terrorists to take up arms and flee to Iraq like flies to flypaper.?
Some will falsely claim that our efforts in Iraq gave opportunity to a resurgence of Taliban forces in Afghanistan. They will falsely claim that our decision to fight in Iraq put us in the position of fighting two different failed wars.
Those who make such claims are not just wrong, they are lying.
First of all, neither war has been lost. The coming fulfillment of our goals in Iraq has enabled President Obama to continue the same policy set in motion by the previous administration. Secondly does anyone believe for a minute that our efforts in Afghanistan would be any further ahead than they are now, had Saddam Hussein still been an active protagonist in the region?
Given his history, his continued intentions, ever present risk and consistent defiance of the international community and agreements with the U.S., no effective attempts to combat terrorism beyond mere words, could have been undertaken without neutralizing and removing Saddam Hussein from the equation. After more than a year of trying to achieve that goal through diplomacy, force was resorted to. That was a decision Saddam Hussein made. The opportunity to avoid military action was always there for him and he was the one to reject it.
In the end the United States had two choices. Either finally do something about Saddam Hussein and eliminate the threat he posed and the proliferation of terrorism that he afforded opportunity to, or, once and for all put action behind our words and eliminate the threat and reduce the risks that we spoke so much about for over a decade.
In a post 9/11 government our government chose to act. Rather than risk having to react to another disastrous terrorist plot that claimed more innocent lives, we chose to prevent it.
The benefit of that decision is immeasurable, at least to us. We will never be able to count the lives spared by the removal of Saddam Hussein. We will not know how many future surprise attacks were prevented from occurring but what we do know is that there will be no more assisted or arranged terrorist or state sponsored attacks by Saddam.
We do know that a beachhead for democracy is developing in the heartland of intolerance in the Middle East. We do know that millions of Iraqi are now tasting freedom and for the first time in generations are living either in less fear or no fear. We do know that in addition to all the previous facts which gave reason to removing Saddam Hussein, others existed as well. Such as his support of Palestinian suicide bombers and his prompting of two regional wars. But in addition to that, Hussein’s oppression and extermination of his own people is justification in and of itself. Such humanitarian reasoning justified our actions in places like Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Haiti during the Clinton years. Why that alone is not enough cause for our actions in Iraq is an example of liberal hypocrisy.
Yet till this day, there are those who try to paint our actions as irresponsible, imperialistic forays of greedy, misguided political folly. They try to claim the Republican party who nominated a President that carried this action out is a party that has lost sight of its purpose.
Well to them I make it clear that the Republican party has not lost sight of our purpose, our beliefs or of what is important. The decision to include Iraq in the War on Terror is one that we stand by today as steadfast as we did on the day that Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched.
We are proud of the fact that Republicans finally achieved what, for too long, many only spoke about. We are proud to not excuse away the abuses of Saddam Hussein and ignore his treaty and cease fire violations. We are proud of the fact today, we are not having to add Saddam into an already complicated enough risk equation that involves Iran, North Korea, China, an erratic Russia and the still existing sources Islamic radicalism and terrorism.
Utopian romantics may try to argue how better off we would be had we ignored the facts and allowed Saddam Hussein to remain a player. They will calculate the immediate financial cost of the war and claim it to be the source of our great economic debt. In doing so, what they leave out of their equation is the long term cost that we would still be paying to continue countering Saddam Hussein. They also leave out the price we would be paying as it relates to the lives at risk or lost had Saddam continued with his ambitions.
What these deniers of truth fail to do is acknowledge the fact that America can no longer simply talk about what needs to be done to protect ourselves. We must do things to protect ourselves. What these liberal leaning, apologists for jihad refuse to do is admit that they would have been the first to crucify a Republican President had he not prevented Saddam Hussein from successfully enabling or carrying out any other terrorist related event. But we did, so now their need to point fingers of blame to anyone but themselves causes them to point blame, not at he who made such events possible, but at he who made them less likely.
Such people may continue to call opposition to their denial of facts extremists and they may try to evangelize their message by exploiting those whose lives were lost in the War On Terror but they do so at the risk of taking responsibility for the next terrorist attack that their ways fail to thwart.
TALIBAN TV GUIDE
6.00 G-Had TV. Morning prayers. 8.30 Talitubbies. Talitubbies say “Ah-ah”. Dipsy and Tinky-Winky repair a Stinger missile launcher. 9.00 Shouts of Praise. More prayers. 11.00 Jihad’s Army. The Kandahar-on-Sea battalion repulse another attack by evil, imperialist, Zionist backed infidels. 12.00 Ready, Steady, Jihad! Celebrities make lethal devices out of everyday objects. 12.30 Panoramadan. The programme reports on Americas attempts to take over the world. 13.30 Xena: Modestly dressed Housewife. Xena stays at home and does some cooking. 14.00 Only Fools and Camels. Dhal-Boy offloads some Chinese rocket launchers to Hamas. 14.30 Green Peter. The total of Kalashnikovs bought by the milk bottle top appeal is revealed. 15.00 Madrasah Challenge. Two more Islamic colleges meet. Bambah Kaskhain asks the questions.’Starter for ten, no praying.’ 15.30 I Love 629. A look back at the events of the year, including the Prophet’s entry into Mecca, and the destruction of pagan idols. 16.00 Question Time. Members of the public face questions from political and religious leaders. 17.00 Koranation Street. Deirdrie faces execution by stoning for adultery. 17.30 Middle-East Enders. The entire cast is jailed for unislamic behaviour. 18.00 Holiday. The team go on pilgrimage to Mecca. Again. 18.30 Top of the Prophets. Will the Koran be No.1 for the 63,728th week running? 19.00 Who wants to be a Mujahadin? Mahmoud Tarran asks the questions.
Will contestants phone a mullah, go ‘inshallah’, or ask the Islamic council? 20.00 FILM: Shariah’s Angels. The three burkha-clad sleuths go undercover to expose an evil scheme to educate women. 21.30 Big Brother. Who will be taken out of the house and executed this week? 22.30 Shahs in their Eyes. More hopefuls imitate famous destroyers of the infidel. 23.30 They think it’s Allah over. Quiz culminating in the ‘don’t feel it the Mullah’ round. 0.00 When Imams attack. Amusing footage shot secretly in mosques. The filmers were also secretly shot. 00.30 a.m. The West Bank Show. Arts programme looking at anti-Israel graffiti art in the occupied territories. 01.30 Bhuffi the Infidel Slayer. 02.00 A book at bedtime. The Koran. Again.
What change has President Obama’s troop withdrawal produced? Beyond achieving the goals set out and put in motion by the Bush presidency, nothing.
In conjunction with the Iraqi government, President Bush already set up broad time frames for a slow and responsible withdrawal of forces. The President, under the leadership of the same man who was President Bush’s Secretary of Defense already developed their clear, hold and build policy which has produced the relinquishing of entire Iraqi cities and regions to responsible and adequate Iraqi military forces.
What President Obama has done is continue the Bush policy to finish the job.
President Obama stated that he will withdraw our forces after Iraqi forces have been properly trained are readily equipped to do the job. He feels that such a goal can be accomplished in 18 months. That largely falls around some of the set time frames already established.
In his closing statements the President made it clear that we set out to create a sovereign Iraqi government and that upon our withdrawal, we willhave done so. Well thank you Mr. President, that is what you chastised your predecessor for. If that goal was not necessary, than why not do as you once stated….”withdraw our troops immediately”
Perhaps what is more interesting than what President Obama said is what he didn’t say. The President never said that “all of our forces” would be withdrawn from Iraq. He simply said that all of our combat forces will be withdrawn.
What that means is that we will still have forces there. Some will exist in an advisory capacity, others will exist as combat ready, non-combatants.
What it means is that we will still maintain a presence in Iraq. Left behind will be 35,000 to 50,000 troops. many will be responsible for training and support roles and many will be available for so-called counter terrorism measures.
But President Obama did not make that point clear. Instead he finessed the language to seemingly suit his campaign promises but he may well have delivered his speech under a banner that read “Promisess Unfullfilled”.
President Obama’s withdrawal speech was a magic show and with a slight of hand he made it look like he is ending a war that, truth be told, was already ending.
It is a conclusion that he will try to take credit for but it is a conclusion which we would not be seeing had we not gone with the surge that Senator Obama opposed.
The surge provided enough troops to clear enemy territory, hold it against enemies, and build it up for the citizens. It was the source to the success of the clear, hold, build tactic that led to our ability to turn over the country to it’s own forces. That policy which President Obama opposed gave us time to flush out the enemy, make citizens feel secure and train Iraqi’s how to properly defend and police themselves.
President Obama had no part in that strategy, he opposed it.
Yet today, he tries to take claim for ending the war. A war that is coming to the very conclusion that was put in motion and being achieved by President Bush. Today, President Obama made quite a point of letting the Iraqi people know that we have given them an opportunity. One that he asked them not squander but he neglected to mention that it is one that he also tried to deny the Iraqi people.
The President’s troop withdrawal speech was a welcomed one. It will be wonderful to see a majority of our forces return in victory. But will President Obama leave Iraq hanging if outside influences try to undo the victory accomplished? Will President Obama take credit for ending the war, the war he objected too.
After all, he is trying to take credit for the terms and conditions of a withdrawal that was already in motion before he took the oath of office. But again, what is more interesting than what President Obama said is what he didn’t say. That troop withdrawal deadline, is subject to conditions on the ground, a phrase commonly used by President George W. Bush and rejected by liberals. Liberals like President Obama rejected any thought about the conditions in Iraq. They just wanted us out.
Will they express the same disdain to President Obama if “conditions on the ground” change and combat forces have to stay any longer than he stated?
There remain only a few hours left in the presidency of George W. Bush. For eight years he has given us his best. There were some low points but there were fewer than the media and liberals would have you believe.
Katrina was a low point but even that, President Bush really can’t take all the blame for himself . But for liberals, President Bush was there scapegoat.
Hurricane Katrina ravaged Mississippi every bit as much as it did Louisiana, yet Mississippi, under the leadership of Republican Governor Haley Barbour, did not encounter the same long duration of recovery or mishandled evacuations that Louisiana did.
Mississippi’s local leaders did not decide to park their buses on low lying surfaces as did New Orleans’ Democrat Mayor, Ray Nagin.
No, Mississippi’s first line of defense in natural disasters, their local governments, the governments closest to the people, came through and were every bit as prepared as they told the federal government that they were. Not so in New Orleans though.
But a liberal bias from the media helped to make Hurricane Katrina President Bush’s fault.
Shortly after the events of Hurricane Katrina many left leaning conspiracy theorists also claimed that Hurricane Katrina and a few of its devastating predecessors were the product of Japan where the Japanese government was inventing a new weapon that increased the intensity of tropical storms into category 5 hurricanes and directed them to land masses that they targeted.
Many of the same people who made this claim gave blame to George Bush. That should tell you something.
Although Katrina may not have been Bush’s fault, the recovery effort in Louisiana does get blamed on him and to a degree that is acceptable. But I guess, on the other side of the coin, the successfully rapid recovery in Mississippi warrants some credit for President Bush?
Putting aside the blame game of Hurricane Katrina, there are two things that when grading this presidency, bring his average down.
The first is his delay in approving the surge that his own Secretary of State urged for a year before he finally accepted it.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been advocating for more troops in Iraq. It was a strategy called “clear, hold and build”. It was also the same strategy that Senator John McCain called for.
Clear, hold and build was successfully used by Col. H.R. McMaster in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar. The strategy called for door to door operations that cleared insurgents from the city along with an ongoing troop presence in each neighborhood that was cleared. Once this was achieved residents felt secure, and U.S. troops were able to begin rebuilding there. Wherever this strategy was conducted, it worked. The resurgents were gone and our continued presence there, prevented them from returning. As a result, citizens no longer lived in fear and life began to flow unimpeded by terror and violence. To carry out clear, hold and build, more troops were required. But increasing the number of troops was not something the administration wanted to advocate for. Although it was required in order to successfully carry out clear, hold, build the administration was afraid of the reaction to such a call.
The President flinched in this area. It was one of the few instances where he allowed public perception to make him second guess his policy judgment. After Viet Nam, we should have learned that if you are going to enter into a fight, throw everything you have into it from the onset. Otherwise don’t get into the fight.
In the case of Iraq, we held back. Had we went along with the surge from the beginning, we would have avoided the upsurge in violence that led to the waning of support for the war effort.
The other area of deep negative impact on this administration was the financial collapse that brought on the current economic crisis.
President Bush does not get blamed for causing the collapse, but it happened under his watch and it should not have.
The President, through his advisers, should have seen this coming and helped to avoid it.
He should have aggressively turned back some of the policies which led to the overextended loan practices which ultimately tied up loans and the markets.
Many of the policies that brought us to this point were from Bill Clinton’s administration.
Clinton‘s National Homeowners Strategy was a financial scheme that promoted insanely low down payments and coerced lenders into giving mortgage loans to first-time buyers with unstable financing and incomes.
It was a way to increase home ownership. That is an admirable motive but as usual, the liberal mentality, forced government to do that which it should not have done. Essentially, the Clinton era initiatives that forced government action on private sector interests led to the need for government to take over FannieMae and FreddieMac. This is not to say that private sector greed and bad business practices did not add to the wrong minded government policy, it did, but what happened here is that government solutions to one problem, created another . Now, ironically, the government which helped to create this problem is having to solve it
As for George Bush, this all came to a head under his watch. For that he must be blamed.
So we have the recovery effort in Louisiana, delaying the surge in Iraq and not avoiding the economic crises that we are in, all helping to lower the average of this administrations grade.
I have two more things to add though.
One is immigration.
On immigration President Bush was most inept. On this issue his positions were no where near appropriate for the leader of a sovereign nation.
The Presidents refusal to accept that illegal immigrants are participating in illegal conduct that needs to be prosecuted was a horribly blundered policy and it is one that has not helped to solve our border security problem or alleviate the continued problem of illegal immigration.
The other issue I hold against President Bush is his administrations inability to articulate their cause in a way that appealed to the people convincingly.
The administration had been doing quite well in it’s first two years when the voice of the President came from then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Once Ari Fleischer left and Scott McClellan entered the picture, the White House lost any sway with the press or the public.
This President was great with messages when we were in crisis and he had the people’s attention, but in between crisis his message was jumbled and unconvincing. That, for this administration, was half of the battle and after Fleischer left they lost it.
On the upside President Bush has many, much wrongly maligned, initiatives to help bring his grade up.
Their was his “Faith Based Initiative” which allowed government to accept the involvement of religious institutions in helping out. Faith based initiatives were no longer penalized or denied by the federal government because of religion. It was something long over due in America, especially in an America where religion is not to persecuted against.
There was “No Child Left Behind”.
This policy was one which had universal support except for some extremist fringe players and teachers union.. But not willing to give credit where credit was due, liberals charged that President Bush backed out of his No Child Left Behind policy by under funding it.
Truth be told, federal education spending is at record levels so that argument doesn’t swim.
There are many other policies such as the Medicare prescription drug benefit, enacted in 2003. It triggered competition between drug companies and wound up costing less than expected.
The Bush tax policy is also to his credit. He didn’t ask for lips to read on this issue, he simply created no new taxes and when he did not reduce them he held the line on them. I only wish he could have added drastic spending cuts to that.
Another high point in this administration was the appointment of two supreme court justices, one being the chief justice.
The appointments of John Roberts and Sam Alito were remarkably good choices. Neither had any judicial or personal blemishes and neither see the role of the judiciary to be one that makes law but rather interprets it. Add to that their relative youthful ages and the Roberts and Alito appointments to the bench will have a profound on our great nation for decades to come.
The next greatest achievement of the administration was twofold. It involves The War On Terror and Iraq.
Despite charges that Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism, the two are entwined together as violent threats.
Pre-Saddam Hussein Iraq did not send to us the pilots that took nearly 3,000 Americans in one day but it had intentions just as dire.
Saddam did not have any tangible links to 9/11 but he did have links to terrorist, including several who dabbled with Al Quaeda and he did continuously break and defy the cease fire agreement that he signed after the first Gulf War. Combine that with the fact that everyone from Bill Clinton and Al Gore to John Kerry and Ted Kennedy swore that Saddam was a threat and you had every reason in the world to eliminate Saddam Hussein.
After 9/11 George W. Bush realized that we must eliminate threats before they eliminate us and so he took out the threat known as Saddam Hussein. In doing so not is democracy being brought to the Middle East but the power and richness of freedom is being delivered to a people that have long since forgotten what independence offers.
Add to that that you can say what you want, but we no longer have to worry about any threat Saddam intended, and for that I thank the President.
I also Thank him for the second part of this War On Terror effort. Under his watch not another single attack occurred on mainland territory since 9/11.
Now if you want to blame Katrina on Bush because it happened during his watch you must also credit him for there being no more attacks under his watch. And when you think about, more attacks occurred under Bill Clinton then George Bush, so I thank President Bush for that as well.
The final most valuable thing brought to life under President Bush goes back to exactly four years ago.
In his inaugural address , after being sworn in for the second time, President Bush stated:
“America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home – the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.”
He went on to articulate a policy that directed the United States to end tyranny in the world as we know it.
Now some may have seen that as a declaration of war by him but most read it the right way.
He went on to say………“We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.”
“All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.:”
The speech has since been forgotten by most but it has not been forgotten by me and hopefully President Barack Obama will also remember it..
In its entirety, the address presented the essence of what it means to be an American and it captured the most important role that America must play in this world as its current, last remaining superpower.
For me it Bush’s second inaugural address was the foundation for our greatest doctrine ever, the doctrine to achieve and true freedom and peace.
When you have the time, click here and read the speech. You will be moved and you will understand our place in this world.
The bottom line…….
President Bush is a good man and was a good President. He will not go down in history ranked along side of Washington or Lincoln nor will he be lumped together with Franklin Pierce or Jimmy Carter.
Ultimately, I believe George W. Bush warrants a B-.
Many on the left will now assault me for giving that grade but I base George Bush’s presidency on the truth of reality not on the lies and distortions that they have spent the last eight years perpetuating and when you add that to the retrospect of history, I believe George W. Bush’s name will slowly rise to its proper placement among American presidents.
That is something that will take time.
As President Bush recently put it, “they’re still debating and writing about how good or bad George Washington was, so I assume the same will happen to me”.
Once upon a time, in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers…
… that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.
The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest, and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.
He further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.
Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.
The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him.
In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers. ‘Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.’
The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys.
Then they never saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!
Now you have a better understanding of how the stock market works.
There are those who claim that the Bush presidency is a debacle. They claim he destroyed our economy and entered into a unnecessary war.
They make these claims despite the facts. They claim that the economy is bad, yet they do not claim the truth. They deny that for the first five years, our economy maintained a historic, almost none existent, unemployment rate. But they run with a meaningless headline that states that unemployment is at a five year high. They claim that Bush put us into tough economic times, not acknowledging that the economy enters cycles and that our economy is strong enough to endure this perceived rough patch or that in the last year of Clinton’s presidency we were in a downturn that even 9/11 did not prevent this administration from bringing us out of.
On a larger front they claim “Bush lied, People died” and that we entered into a war without legitimate reason and that we need change in direction.
Well, let us look at why these people are wrong. Let’s go back into time to all the events, prior to 9/11 and after 9/11, which indicate the needs for our actions against potential threats and against terrorism.
Former deputy undersecretary of defense John A. Shaw was responsible for tracking Hussein’s weapons program before and after Operation Iraqi Freedom. At an intelligence summit in Alexandria, Virginia he explained that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that were purchased from Russia were moved to Syria and Lebanon before the war began. According to Shaw Russian Spetsnaz units “were specifically sent to Iraq to move weaponry and eradicate any evidence of its existence. According to this report the removal of evidence “was a well orchestrated campaign using two neighboring client states which Russian leaders had a longtime relationship with”
Further evidence was found in 2006 when over 5 hundred munitions containing degraded WMD in Iraq. The discovery of projectiles filled with mustard and and saran proved that Saddam lied about his WMD and that he violated his agreement to dispose of such weapons. It is further proof that the left’s claim that there were no WMD is false and a lie.
On top of that, George Sada, who was a Christian member of Saddam’s inner circle and General in his army declared….
“When Saddam finally grasped the fact that it was a matter of time until Iraq would be invaded by American and coalition forces, he knew he would have to take specific measures to destroy, hide, or at least disguise his stashes of biological and chemical weapons, along with laboratories, equipment, and plans associated with nuclear weapons development. But then, much to his good fortune, a natural disaster in neighboring Syria provided the perfect cover story for moving a large number of those things out of his country”
Furthermore; After the original Gulf War Saddam signed treaties promising to stop the production and procurement of WMD. He made a commitment to permit UN weapons inspectors to verify that he was not in breach of these treaties and he was also not allowed to oppose our enforcement of U.S. no-fly zones. But for the twelve years after the Gulf War, Saddam repeatedly violated the terms of the cease fire agreement that he had with the U.S.. He denied weapons inspectors proper access to establishing proper inspections. He also repeatedly shot our aircrafts in the no-fly zones and violated seventeen Security Council resolutions requiring that he rid himself of WMD.
On November 8, 2002 The U.N. adopted resolution 1441 by unanimous consent of the fifteen member security council and affirmed the world’s uncertainty of Saddam’s WMD. But WMD was not the only reason for this resolution. It declared that Iraq defied it’s obligations under UN Resolution 687, which was enacted after the Gulf War.
According to liberal lion, Ted Kennedy in an interview on October 6, 2002…….”Saddam Hussein is a dangerous figure. He’s got dangerous weapons”
The liberal Democrat, Senator Robert Byrd stated around the same time ” The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked upon on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities”
During the democratic Clinton administration liberal leader, Nancy Pelosi said ” Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of WMD technology which is a threat to countries in the region and has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process”.
On December 16, 1998 high liberal lord Al Gore said, “If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He’s already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons”.
President Bill Clinton said on February 4, 1998, “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line”
Before his campaign for the presidency of the United States was official, the last liberal standard bearer of today’s liberal Democrat party, John Kerry said, ” Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime…..He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction….So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real”
Now, given the events of 9/11 and our understood need to take out threats before they materialize, and based on the facts that existed before and after George W. Bush took office, what was the prudent thing to do? After diplomacy did not sway Saddam Hussein to do the right thing and despite the U.N.’s unwillingness to hold Saddam Hussein to their own resolutions, Operation Iraqi Freedom accomplished what everyone wanted to accomplish……the threat of Saddam Hussein was eliminated.
Add to this the evidence that indicates Saddam’s ties to terrorists and terrorist groups and you have all the right reason to do all the right things.
The only thing that I hold against George Bush is the fact that he did not learn from past wars and throw all that we had into the fight in Iraq after Saddam was removed from power. In the days after his overthrow, Iraq become a vacuum that attracted terrorists to try to undo what we had done in Iraq and in those days, we did not have an adequate supply of forces to thwart and eliminate those terrorists. John McCain and Condoleezza Rice continuously urged for an increase in forces but Bush, faced with a liberal media that downplayed success and tried to indicate that Operation Iraqi Freedom was wrong, rejected such calls until he could not deny the need for them himself. But once he did, it worked.
You may want to deny the words of Generals and the evidence of Saddam’s ominous intentions but people like myself do not. You may want to claim that since there have been no attacks similar to 9/11 since that time, that there are no real threats or that terrorism does not exist anymore but I see that the efforts we undertook and that we are undertaking are helping to prevent them from occurring.
Some may be willing to ignore facts but I am not. The evidence was there before George Bush took office and is there while he is still in office.
To say this was all wrong places the burden of proof on those who say it.
Disprove to me the facts and possibilities which indicate that WMD’s were moved out of Iraq under the guise of aid to areas that were struck by earthquakes before the war began. Prove to me that the words of a General in Saddam’s army are wrong. Prove to me that existing stockpiles of WMD in Iraq were not intended for use by Saddam. Prove to me that the known visits to Saddam by known terrorists did not indicate a connection to terrorism.
The burden of proof pertaining to why Operation Iraqi Freedom and our subsequent assistance to Iraq in fighting terrorism was wrong, is up to you. I have the facts that indicate otherwise.
With the new year here, we have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to thank the passage of time for resolving some situations. While some happenings in 2008 came and went, other events of 2008 still require time, time that will absorb much of 2009 and even beyond.
So today, before we forge ahead with the rest of this new year, we reflect on the events that shaped politics and the politics that shaped events, by presenting to you the 10 most significant political stories of the year that helped to get us where we are today.
10. – THE DEATHS OF TIM RUSSERT and TONY SNOW
Both of these men loved politics. For a time they were both involved in politics on different sides of the aisle and during a different time they covered both sides of the aisle in politics . Tony Snow started in print and broadcast journalism delivering political news and commentary and ended his career in politics as the Press Secretary for President Bush. Tim Russert began in politics working for a political legend, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and ended covering politics on NBC. As host of Meet The Press, Tim became a part of every American household and despite his personal left leaning tendencies Tim Russert was respected for probing questions that were leveled at liberals and conservatives alike. Tony Snow was also a partisan. For decades he was a favorite in conservative circles, yet when delivering a news story people of every party carefully listened to the insightful delivery of facts that he presented. His last major endeavor was one that helped provide the White House with the ability to properly convey the right messages. Tony served as Press Secretary for 17 months. Probably the most understandable 17 months of the Presidents two terms in office. Tim Russert died after suffering a massive heart attack on Jun 13th at the age of 58 and Tony Snow died after battling colon cancer on July 12th at the age of 53. In life they shaped politics and political opinion. In death, they left us a legacy of lessons and examples to follow.
FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER
9 . – IS THAT CAMPAIGN MONEY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME?
The Empire State helped to set a tone for 2008 when early in the year, New York’s Governor, Elliot Spitzer got caught up in scandal. After serving only 14 months in office the rising Democrat star found himself standing next to his wife announcing his resignation. Suspicious transfers of money in and out of Spitzer’s bank account led federal investigators to believe that he might be taking bribes. However their probe discovered that for over several years Spitzer wasn’t taking bribes, he was paying out at least $80,000 for prostitutes. The period covered his tenure as New York’s Attorney General as well as his brief time as Governor. The happiest people of all in this episode were David Paterson and New Jersey. As Spitzer’s Lieutenant Governor, Paterson, became New York’s first African American Governor, and the nation’s first legally blind one. New Jersey was just happy to know that they were no longer the only state in the region to lose a governor because of sexual scandals and illegal conduct.
8. – WEEKEND AT KIM’S
NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?
Around August rumors began to circulate that North Korea’s obscure and, to put it kindly, eccentric leader, Kim Jong-Il, was dead. Since then no reputable sources have either seen him or heard from him. Not that that is unusual, few people have ever heard or seen Kim Jong-Il, but what is unusual are recent decisions that Kim Jong-Il supposedly made to eliminate efforts to develop nuclear power. Did Kim make that decision? Is North Korea really abandoning nuclear ambitions? Or is North Korea propping up Kim Jong-Il, like a bad, out of sync, Korean version of “Weekend At Bernie’s” while a different, unknown, brain dead ruler is pulling the strings and, at the same time, trying to pull the wool over our eyes? All jokes aside, the sensitivity of the situation is a dire one. Chaos on the Korean Peninsula could create a ripple effect that no one can afford. Dramatic events could alter sensitive relations with South Korea and negotiations with the United States. All of which could result in tensions throughout the world including those involving hard feelings between North Korea and Japan. And let us not forget North Korea’s greatest ally, China. With their booming economy, the Chinese are ambitious. Knowing who is in charge of things could be helpful in 2009.
BID WELL TO FIDEL?
7. – BID WELL FIDEL?
In 1959 Cuba took on the face of Fidel Castro. Just 90 miles off of our shores, Cuban communism and Castro were too close for comfort. As much as we didn’t like it, invasions, coups and even assassination attempts did not eliminate Castro’s hold on power. However, time did reduce Castro’s influence. As time changed most of the world, Castro and Cuba didn’t but the logistics which helped to make him a thorn in our side did change. The, once feared communist Soviet-Cuban relationship lost it’s potency as the Soviet Union lost it’s hammer and sickle. As time went by, our concerns with Cuba focused more on human rights for Cubans than defense from Cuba. So it was still welcome news when, in February, we discovered that an ailing Fidel Castro was resigning from office. Not that it mattered much. Before stepping down, Fidel told the Cuban Communist Party that they were too elect his brother Raul to be the new Commander in Chief. The event did not change things very much but after almost 50 years in power, and events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzales and other disconcerting situations, as minor as the effects of this change may be, Fidel’s painstakingly slow departure from the world stage is welcomed and ranks as the seventh most dramatic political occurrence of 2008.
6. – THE GEOGIAN-RUSSIAN WAR
It was not a battle that reshaped Europe again but the surprising developments that caused the Russian Army to invade a neighboring, breakaway Republic with internationally recognized sovereignty, gave us all a glimpse of reality. It may not be the Soviet Union anymore but a bear by any other name is still a bear and the vulnerabilities of newly formed and reformed European nations and those with relatively new freedoms still offer some new Russian leaders the same old reasons for wanting control. The incident helped to demonstrate that freedom in parts of Europe is still a fragile concept.
ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH
5. – THE EBAY APPOINTMENT
2008 ended with a story that will carry well into the first months of 2009. As President-Elect Obama vacated his seat in the U.S. Senate, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began a private auction process to determine who will fill the vacancy. As investigators, under the direction of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigated Blagojevich for numerous improprieties, they discovered that he was basing his appointment to the senate seat on who could give him the most for it. Blago wanted either a “cushy union” job, a high paying cabinet position or at the very least an enormous financial campaign contribution. After being arrested the Illinois state legislature began impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich and he began digging in his heals refusing to resign. The events have the potential for drawing in some big name co-conspirators and participants. From Rep. Jesse Jackson, jr. to President -Elect Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuelle, many reputations may yet be questioned in this scandal. And to make things even more interesting, Blagojevich took the opportunity to raise the stakes and named Roland Burris, a long time, old line, liberal Chicago Democrat party machine hack to replace Barack Obama. Not at all concerned with peoples faith in government, or the integrity of the process, Burriss accepted the tainted appointment and in doing so, puts the United States and it’s Democrat leader, Harry Reid in the position of denying to seat someone that would be the only African American in the United States Senate. So coming in as the fifth top political occurrence in 2008 is the story that will keep on bleeding and keep us reading…..the process to replace a Barack Obama in the senate.
4. – BRINGING OUTSIDERS IN
GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN
One of the most important political decisions made in 2008 was John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. It was a controversial choice for some and one of the only right decisions made in the opinions of others. No matter how you see it, it remains one of the most spoken about political stories of the year. Beyond the newsworthiness are the implications. For many it was a sign of the fact that government needs thinking that is as far removed from the Washington D.C. mentality as Alaska is from Washington D.C itself. Many Americans are tired of Washington politics and want common sense as opposed to the one hand washes the other, old boys bureaucracy that we perceive as screwing us more than helping us. Sarah Palin embodied, and still does embody, that thinking. She is a political outsider who became a Governor by opposing the political class while representing the working class. Without abandoning conservative Republican principles, Sarah Palin fought against corrupt Republican and liberal politicians. Although picking Sarah Palin for Vice President may have been the right decision for John McCain, trying to restrict and control her wasn’t. By trying to script Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign lost out on the greatest advantageous quality Palin brought to the ticket…….her anti-establishment, outsider qualities. As McCain lost the election for President, Sarh Palin won exposure. Exposure that has made her a person who conservatives look forward to advancing the cause and for Americans to have to consider for national leadership in the future. So at number four in 2008 is the selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Thank you senator McCain!
3. – “OILS WELL” IN THE ECONOMY?
The price of oil ranks third on our list of top stories. As prices for a barrel of oil soared to heights in excess of 150 dollars a barrel , gas prices flew up to over 4 dollars a gallon and the ripple effects raise the cost of everything from milk, eggs and bread to lumber, air fares, and life in general. The high cost of energy generated heated debates over domestic oil drilling, and pushed issues like immigration and terrorism off of the front burners in the race for President. Based upon the duration of the immediate negative effects of the price of oil combined with its ripple effects on the economy, its control of the political agenda and the long term policy initiatives that it created, oil prices is number 3 in ‘08. It is also likely to become a top story again, at least around August of ‘09, when the now delightfully low prices we see rise back up.
2. – THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA
PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA
Putting all political opinion aside, Barack Obama ran a long hard campaign, that Republican strategists are dissecting in order to reproduce in elections of their own. The Obama campaign not only effectively tapped into voter dissatisfaction, they organized it and organized it well. Their utilization of the internet was exemplary and their ability to win favor through eloquence and style over substance and fact was done to political perfection. Despite some pitfalls such as Bill Ayers, ACORN, Rev. Wright, admitting a desire akin to socialism by stating that he wanted to spread the wealth, Barack Obama won big. To do so his campaign raised historic amounts of money and more than just raising that money, they spent it right and put it to good use. A use that mobilized the forces well enough to produce his substantial victory. The election of President-Elect Barack Obama comes in second not only because of how he won but because he did win. His victory marked the election of America’s first African American President. Like any other first, it is notable and in this case it is profoundly notable. It demonstrates an undeniable ability for our nation to overcome racial differences and the evidence of decency overcoming prejudice is promising. The effects of President-Elect Obama’s leadership are yet to be seen but the lessons learned and points made by his election are unquestionable.
1 . – BAIL OUT MANIA
POLITICS 24/7 considers the 700 billion dollar bailout that the federal government approved to be the most profound and important story of 2009. Not only was the suggested need for this bailout indicative of our wrong ways of the past, it signaled a continuation of wrong ways in the future. Our promotion of spending as the answer to all of our problems has created generations ands a government that spend beyond our means. The 700 billion dollar bailout meant to solve our problems didn’t solve our anything, it just provided a quick fix. It did however, create more problems. It has called upon more people and more industries to put their own hands out. The bailout set in motion a sense of government control that has taken freedom, with all of it’s risks and promises, out of the free market and it has helped to move America closer to the socialism that we have fought against in the past. Many major events come and go in politics. What we once saw as earth shattering developments often become something that we later laugh about but we fear that bailout trend established in 2008 is no laughing matter for any time.
2008 was an intense year. There were many events and some of the most dramatic ones did not involve politics. Human nature played a role in all of them though and hopefully our better instincts will drive the events and politics of 2009.
With that in mind we wish everyone a happy new year and hope that our better instincts help to make each and every day better than the last.
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