The other day I had a pretty fascinating
conversation. One of my best friends who now lives in New York, a
lifelong (he’s 21) Democrat, is considering voting for
President Bush next November.
I was pretty surprised. But, I thought about it and remembered
some earlier conversations I had with him, including his all-out
support for the second gulf war, which was also at pretty
surprising at the time.
The more we talked the more I reached this conclusion: My
friend, like a lot of Americans, is scared. For many, it’s
not a question of whether there will be another Sept. 11, but when
and where it will come. So they trust the president not because
he’s George W. Bush, but because he’s The President.
He’s The Leader.
The sad truth, however, is that Bush has been a terrible
president and a terrible leader, but not for the reasons cited by
the rank-and-file leftists. It’s not that he’s gotten
us into wars, it’s that he’s made a mess of
First, let’s take the war in Afghanistan. Some pacifists
said the war was avoidable, that it was the United States’
fault for the terrorist attacks. But the Taliban government there
had harbored and supported the terrorist group responsible for the
killing of 3,000 innocent Americans. There’s no reason to
believe al-Qaida wasn’t planning more attacks. In fact
it’s hard to argue that even if we were partially at fault
for the rise of the Taliban we shouldn’t be defending
ourselves from a source of terror.
Although Bush followed through and removed the Taliban, the
post-war scene in Afghanistan has gone largely unnoticed by the
media. Hamid Karzai’s title may be president of Afghanistan,
but from what I gather he’s really just the mayor of Kabul.
Warlords control most of the country. And we’ve spent nearly
nothing to rebuild this country after we bombed the hell out of it,
and chances are it’ll be a training ground for terrorists
again if it isn’t already.
Then there’s the war in Iraq. I supported it, not because
I felt so strongly about the weapons allegations, but because I
thought it was time Saddam Hussein’s tyranny ended. I also
thought that if one democracy was established in the Middle East,
maybe liberty would spread.
But I didn’t like that, without a word of criticism from
the White House, conservatives went out of their way to discredit
anyone who disagreed with the Bushies, by this I mean Army Chief of
Staff Eric Shinseki, the Dixie Chicks, or as we’ve recently
learned, CIA operative Valerie Palme, wife of Joseph Wilson, the
former U.S. ambassador to Iraq who didn’t buy the
administration’s WMD talk.
Interestingly, it turns out that there’s probably no WMD
and that we’ll need more troops than expected to pacify
To say the White House was unprepared for the war is an
incredible understatement, We know that much of the Arab world sees
the U.S. occupation as colonialist, which helps build the ranks of
the insurrections in Iraq now. With the United Nations and Red
Cross pulling their people out, it sure would be nice if Germany or
France would send some aid and/or troops. But that probably
won’t happen because we already told them to go to hell,
And now Iraq is a hotbed of terrorist activity. And Afghanistan
is just as poor and unstable as it was before. I’m just as
scared as my friend in New York, but the president is partially at
If there was one bright spot in this
week’s news it was yesterday’s removal of Roy Moore as
chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. It would be one thing
if “Roy’s Rock,” with the Ten Commandments
inscribed, was just part of an exhibit on the making of laws and
from where the first laws may have come — if God as the
source of laws was presented as just one of several theories. But
Moore said God was the source of the laws and as such he had a
right to a) place the monument in the building, and b) violate a
federal court’s order that he remove it. Under Moore’s
reasoning, anyone can break a law whenever he thinks God is on his
So kudos to the the panel that removed Moore, for realizing that
since everyone can interpret what God wants in different ways,
it’s better that people follow them, especially the
state’s top judge.