One of the most depressing things about this campaign has been the way that Kerry and his cohorts in the media have insisted that Afghanistan and Iraq are horrible, abject failures. I won’t claim that everything Bush has done has been perfect, inspired, or without fault. There’s never been a President or a war that would meet that standard. But to call it a failure is stunningly, incredibly wrong. And not just wrong in an abstract reasonable-people-can-disagree sort of way. Completely, entirely, without any factual basis – wrong. An opportunistic lie that harms our relationships with our true allies and hurts our ultimate chances of success in this war.
But what about education? And health care? And those infamous tax breaks for the wealthy?. There’s an old Klingon proverb: Only a fool fights in a burning house. The house has been burning ever since the smoldering danger that we’d ignored for years ignited on September 11th 2001, and whatever domestic policy differences we may have with Bush are secondary. Tell me, do you know anything about FDR’s immigration policy? Or Lincoln’s stand on tax rates? I didn’t think so. That’s because in light of other events they really didn’t matter that much, and they don’t matter much right now either. I personally think that Bush has done ok on domestic issues and that he has a stronger set of policies than Kerry’s hat full of mysterious “plans”. But even if you disagree, there’s no doubt that the republic can endure four years of the very worst domestic policy and still bounce back. What we can’t endure is the constant threat of rogue nations or terrorists who dearly wish to kill large numbers of men, women, and children at every opportunity.
As the election fast approaches, you owe it to yourself to be as informed as possible. Kevin Alyward presents the excellent Where We Stand series. Iraq is one of the most successful military operations in the history of the planet, and if anyone is telling you otherwise, they’re either misinformed or lying. When you hear Kerry claim that Bush bungled this or failed at that, consider for a moment that the military – the people Bush is allegedly letting down so badly – support Bush by 69% to 75%. Would they so strongly support someone who was waging the “wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time”? Are they stupid? I think not.
Charles Krauthammer points out Kerry’s sad, deceptive tactics:
This election comes down to a choice between one man’s evolution and the other man’s resolution. With his endlessly repeated Tora Bora charges, Kerry has made Afghanistan a major campaign issue. So be it. Whom do you want as president? The man who conceived the Afghan campaign, carried it through without flinching when it was being called a “quagmire” during its second week and has seen it through to Afghanistan’s transition to democracy? Or the retroactive genius, who always knows what needs to be done after it has already happened — who would have done “everything” differently in Iraq, yet in Afghanistan would have replicated Bush’s every correct, courageous, radical and risky decision — except one. Which, of course, he would have done differently. He says. Now.
Kerry rants about “outsourcing” the hunt for Bin Laden, all the while willfully ignoring the fact that operation was a success. Apparently Bin Laden’s not dead yet, but this wasn’t a simple manhunt – it was a war. And we won, resoundingly. The Taliban is a shattered remnant of its former self constantly on the run. Zarqawi’s new franchise of Al Qaeda is reduced to desperately blowing up and decapitating unarmed civilians in Iraq, destroying whatever support they may once have gathered. And their former stronghold of Afganistan is innoculated with the strongest anti-terror remedy the world has ever seen: democracy. The recent elections in Afganistan show how powerful the idea of democracy and self-governance really are and how much regular people are willing to risk for them. If Kerry had been President it would never have happened.
Nor would democratic elections be held in Iraq in January – maybe never. Without military action, Saddam would’ve continued business as usual. He and his sons raping and killing whoever they pleased however they pleased, funding and assisting terrorists. All while bribing UN officials, journalists, and oil companies to get illegal materials and a ready supply of cash for the WMD programs he planned to restart in earnest once the sactions were lifted. Against this threat, what does Kerry say? Saddam would “not necessarily”be in power. Golly, such strong language.
Kerry couldn’t even be bothered to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi when he visited DC, his campaign instead chose to issue an insulting, patronizing statement. Even as brave Iraqis are volunteering and dying to protect their newfound freedoms, Kerry doesn’t think their sacrifices are worth counting among the dead. That’s not the way to treat allies.
Bush often uses the phrase “the soft bigotry of low expectations”. When applied to the Global War on Terror, that’s addresses the contention that Iraqis and Afgahnis aren’t really capable of governing themselves. They don’t understand democracy. They’re too violent. Too backward. Too tribal. The best we can hope for is a nice stable dictator who doesn’t kill too many people. Bush was faced with this very situation after September 11th, and he had the courage to realize that it couldn’t be put off any longer. He could do what his predecessor might have done: A quick fix, maybe a couple UN resolutions or a few cruise-missiles aimed at training camps, or maybe even arresting Bin Laden and trying him in the International Criminal Court. If we were lucky, that approach might quiet things down a bit. Maybe even reduce terroism to a few of Kerry’s “nuisance” attacks in which only a couple hundred Americans might die at a time. What more could anyone hope for?
Or he could do what needed to be done and fix the problem. To buckle down, take the war to the enemy, and ultimately make the world a safer, better place, both now and for our children. He didn’t make the easy or expedient decision – he made the right decision. And his administration needs time to finish the job.
So now it’s your turn to make the right decision. Vote Bush.
UPDATE: Need more convincing? Take a look at some of the of the many other Bush endoresements out there.