Friday, November 02, 2007

Straight Talk From Bush

Our blog may be small, but we’re proud that among our few faithful readers we can count, apparently, the President of the United States. (I’ve long suspected he often comments here under the screen name, “Boots”).

Anyway, yesterday the President gave a speech to the Heritage Foundation wherein he echoed a key concept we explored at some length last week about the war against Islamo-Fascism, sharply criticizing Congress for “behaving as if America is not at war.”:

Given the nature of the enemy and the words of its leaders, politicians who deny that we are at war are either being disingenuous or naive. Either way, it is dangerous for our country. We are at war -- and we cannot win this war by wishing it away or pretending it does not exist.

I’m also encouraged to see that President Bush was quite clear in placing the focus on the Islamic nature of the enemy, not relying on the inaccurate generality that we are fighting “terror”:

The terrorists who struck America that September morning intend to strike us again. We know this, because the enemy has told us so. Just last year, Osama bin Laden warned the American people, "Operations are under preparation, and you will see them on your own ground once they are finished." Seven months later, British authorities broke up the most ambitious known al Qaeda plot since the 9/11 attacks -- a plot to blow up passenger airplanes flying over the Atlantic toward the United States. Our intelligence community believes that this plot was just two or three weeks away from execution. If it had been carried out, it could have rivaled 9/11 in death and destruction.

The lesson of this experience is clear. We must take the words of the enemy seriously. The terrorists have stated their objectives. They intend to build a totalitarian Islamic empire -- encompassing all current and former Muslim lands, stretching from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In pursuit of their imperial aims, these extremists say there can be no compromise or dialog with those they call infidels -- a category that includes America, the world's free nation [sic], Jews, and all Muslims who reject their extreme vision of Islam. They reject the possibility of peaceful coexistence with the free world. Again, hear the words of Osama bin Laden last year: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."

President Bush is getting criticism for comparing the appeasing instinct of the Left with those who slept during Hitler’s and Lenin’s seizures of national power. While these kinds of comparisons, especially comparisons with Hitler, have become shopworn with overuse, the President isn’t just throwing Hitler’s name around as a baseless, all-purpose epithet meant to insult his intellectual opponents. In other words, he isn’t using it in the irresponsible, spittle-flecked way the Left have been doing since the first year of the Bush administration, calling Bush and a huge proportion of the country “Nazis” with little--or no--regard for the actual meaning of what they’re saying.

Instead, Bush is making the comparison in order to draw the legitimate lesson about taking threats seriously when they come from formidable enemies who’ve shown us already in the past that they’re capable of carrying out their threats. Bush put it this way:

In the 1920s, the world ignored the words of Hitler, as he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany, take revenge on Europe, and eradicate the Jews -- and the world paid a terrible price. His Nazi regime killed millions in the gas chambers, and set the world aflame in war, before it was finally defeated at a terrible cost in lives and treasure.

Tired or not, the comparison is absolutely accurate. Moreover, we're fortunate to be living in a time when we have such a sharp and clear historical pattern to follow.

As I’ve studied for myself about the mistakes and decisions that led to World War II, there’s one thing that stands out about Hitler’s war-making decisions: his reliance wasn't on the invincibility of his army (he never believed in that), but rather on his conviction that the world’s then-greatest powers and his most dangerous potential foes--Great Britain and France--wouldn’t risk war just to protect Poland.

Nor did he just delude himself about France's and England’s weakness because he was "mad" and irrational--in fact, his conclusions were coldly rational. He had years during which to test the resolve of the two victors of the Great War, to see if they were ever going to stand up to his insolences, his treaty violations, and his bullying of his neighbors. What he got for results were France’s refusal to increase the size of its military to match Hitler’s re-armament campaign; and from Great Britan, in response to Hitler’s withdrawal from the League of Nations and repudiation of the Versailles treaty, he got England's vocal peace movement and calls for “disaramament.” Then he got both countries’ willingness to abandon allies and pay him the most humiliating diplomatic obeisance rather than risk the use of force to save Czechoslovakia.

All this convinced Hitler that his invasion of Poland in 1939 would not lead to a greater war.

He was wrong. But he had the help of the European democracies in getting it wrong. Hand't he had proof time and again by French and British leaders that their nations would put up with anything rather than risk another European war?

Churchill wrote his impressions of Great Britan's part in it this way:

This was one of those awful periods which recur in our history, when the noble British nation seems to fall from its high estate, loses all trace of sense or purpose, and appears to cower from the menace of foreign peril, frothing pious platitudes while foemen forge their arms.

In this dark time the basest sentiments received acceptance or passed unchallenged by the responsible leaders of the political parties. In 1933, the students of the Oxford Union, under the inspiration of a Mr. Joad, passed their ever-shameful resolution, “That this House refuses to fight for King and country.” It was easy to laugh off such an episode in England, but in Germany, in Russia, in Italy, in Japan, the idea of a decadent, degenerate Britain took deep root and swayed many calculations.

Now, James Lewis at American Thinker is denouncing Chuck Schumer for his statements in a New York Observer article downplaying the Bush administration’s clear and consistent refusals to remove military force as an option should Iran continue to build its nuclear weapons program. (“Chuck Schumer and A'jad”).

Says Schumer, bombing Iran would be a political loser for the Republicans in 2008, so he doesn’t “think they are likely to do it, because they are so weak-not because they are chastened-but I also think it is very likely to be a negative political for them.”

Which means Schumer thinks all this talk about military options is only domestic politics, really just Americans “playing chicken...Go ahead and build those nukes!"

Writes Lewis:

You can bet that Ahmadi-Nejad and all the mullahs are reading Chuckie's little sneer today. The next time they get a stern warning from the United States, as aircraft carrier groups pass within bombing distance of Iran's nuke factories, they are going to wonder, “Does the evil Boosh mean it this time?”….

This is stupid and dangerous. Stupid, because I will never again vote for any Democrat who plays with our national security --- and millions of other Americans are thinking the same way. Stupid, because the mullahs will underestimate our national resolve. Stupid, because if Hillary gets elected she will have less leverage in foreign affairs. Islamic fascists are going to discount any threat of force from a Democrat President. They will just think they are dealing with Jimmy Carter.

And it's very dangerous for a United States Senator to talk that way in a time of war, because it makes the mullahs feel safer, and when they feel safe they become more dangerous.


Cedo said...

"The terrorists who struck America that September morning intend to strike us again. We know this, because the enemy has told us so."

This cannot possibly be true. The criminals who did us harm all died in the crashes...

Sure, there are people associated with the criminals, but we cannot punish people for association without punishing you for the crimes of your friends and family. I'd rather not have that.

As a constitutional american, I want you to know this post is war propoganda.

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve,

Sophistry, such as your post above, will only get you and your family murdered by the 9/11 terrorists' "associates".

This is a WAR. You speak of crimes and punishment. No wonder you are clueless.

You say, " I'd rather not have that." Well, the terrorists who did not die on 9/11 don't care about what you want!

And, what is a "constitutional american", some kind of holier-than-thou BS? WE are all Americans and defending ourselves is NOT unconstitutional!