January 18, 2009
G. W. Bush, a President Worthy of the OfficeBy Kyle-Anne Shiver
I already miss you, G. W. For seven years now, since the shock of 9/11, I've taken great comfort in knowing you were at the helm, doing all in your power to protect this Country from another attack.
You're the 7th president I've watched in action, and I must tell you, you're the one I'm most proud to have voted into office. Peggy Noonan declared several months back that you've destroyed the Republican Party, to which I say a loud and earnest, balderdash. Clearly, the Democratic Party and their minions in the "press" destroyed the Republican Party, while the rest of us were making a living and fighting a War.
Even your own father said just the other day that you refused to save the Party by withdrawing from Iraq. Since this came from a man who jumps from airplanes for the thrill of it, I'm simply going to roll my eyes and let it go.
With all due respect, I would rather you had saved the Country than the Republican Party, and that's just what you've done.
I believe that's called proper prioritizing.
It's what presidents are supposed to do. Always. Every single time.
Yes, the Republican-Party brand appears tarnished beyond repair, our candidates far and wide are suffering defeat, and hardly a voice in defense of you can be heard anywhere. But, surely G. W., you realize that these difficult realities say far more about the non-cognizant state of our citizenry than they say about you.
Over New Year's, I was hip-deep in a political debate with friends, who bemoaned your lack of eloquence, your mangling of simple words and your despised-one status with the media. When I mentioned your courage (a quality, which you have in spades, Mr. President), I drew blank stares.
I filled the noise void with a simple acknowledgement that we have now traded a genuine-article, manly president with true courage of conviction, for someone about whom we know next-to-nothing, except that he possesses the one thing most bemoaned as lacking in you, G.W. The President-Elect can give a good speech and sounds downright eloquent with a teleprompter.
Oh, and the media adores him.
This response endeared me to my friends about as much as the Iraq War has endeared you to yours.
One brave soul (another female, of course) said, "Katrina," to which I replied, "Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco." Silence. I then mentioned that the politicization of that natural disaster was the first time since Pravda's heyday I had seen such a triumph of blatant poppycock propaganda. More silence.
Which, of course, brought the discussion right back to the liberal trump card, the Iraq War. One guy ventured that he had spoken with a few soldiers, who adamantly opposed the War. And oh, I could not help but remind him that according to the Military Times surveys, our military overwhelmingly supported John McCain, the guy who said he would stay in Iraq for 100 years if that's what it took to secure a humane and democratic foothold in the Middle East.
Even the naysayers among my New Year's group were forced to admit that your giving the reins to General Petraeus and your backing the Surge -- amidst the most outlandish national outcry this Nation has ever endured - has saved America from another ignominious withdrawal.
In our little group, we're all old enough to remember the anguished crowds around the helicopters on the rooftop of the American Embassy in Vietnam, the throngs of boat people arriving with tales of horror, the bloodbath conducted by the Vietnamese communists and the encouragement our leaving gave to every evil madman on the planet. We're all old enough to remember, too, the foibles of the feckless Jimmy Carter and his helping the rise of the Mullahs that eventually brought us to 9/11. So, no one in our group was brazen enough to say that as a Wartime President, you failed.
In fact, Mr. President, there was a bit of grudging admiration all around.
You see, Sir, once the media-blitzy catch phrases are all used up and normal people begin to think back on the last eight years, they are forced to face the fact that Bill Clinton's malfeasance with our National Security created the weakness that emboldened our enemies so. More than a couple remember Sandy Berger's stealing Clinton-incriminating documents and shoving them up his pants-leg. Even the naysayers must admit, however loathsome it may be, that you did not shrink from your duty, but bravely endured the verbal assaults against you that quickly mounted, even as grief still wetted our cheeks with tears.
The witch hunts that have stalked your Presidency, as you've tried to keep your nose to the job's grindstone, bring shame to those who perpetrated them against the National interests. They shame us, Mr. President, not you.
When the New York Times' editors put trust in a source they knew to be tainted politically, and took it upon themselves to publicize details of a wiretap program designed for our safety, I purely gagged in shock. Had you actually been the tyrant of your accusers' imaginations, those editors would have gone on trial for treason without even the benefit of Habeas Corpus.
Clearly, they knew you were not as heavy-handed as Abraham Lincoln.
Sadly, the time has come to bid you farewell, G.W. If we should ever have the opportunity to meet, I would gladly shake your hand, dear Sir, and if asked for my opinion on your Presidency, especially the Iraq War, I would offer an unequivocal, "Brilliant. Positively brilliant."
For good or ill, the buck -- or the shoe if you prefer -- does indeed stop at the President.
You went to Congress. You got that perfectly detailed, 22-resolution, joint authorization for the War. You assembled an international coalition (Unilateralism?). You moved in, toppled the evil Saddam, were first heralded as the liberator, then got bogged down, then found yourself a proper General (like Lincoln), then persevered, and have not only brought genuine hope and dignity to millions of Iraqi citizens, you have engineered the most brilliant GWOT strategy imaginable.
While doing the Iraqi people the favor of toppling a despised dictator with designs on massive destruction, you created a magnet for every terror-minded male on the entire planet. From far and wide, they came. Al Qaeda called; they answered. The Iranians poured covertly over the border. Every terror cell from here to Timbuktu sent recruits to die or be captured for the cause in Iraq.
Your Iraq War was the rallying cry for mad Mullahs and their proselytized masses in every little country and Islamic enclave from here to Europe to Africa and across the Arab world. What genius. While you drew them all to Iraq, and they were forced to fight our soldiers and marines, they could not simultaneously perpetrate atrocities against our civilian populace at home. I'll say it again and again. Brilliant, dear Sir, just brilliant.
Now, will all that fit on a bumper sticker?
I'll thank you to my dying day for your astute decision to house the enemy combatants in Cuba, and not here on American soil. How many American children you've saved, we'll never know, but that you have saved many is undeniable. I'll put the right to safety of American school children over the rights of terrorist, homicidal maniacs every day. Coming up with solutions to thorny, never-before-encountered problems is yet another mark of your wartime sagacity.
So, G.W., I bid you a sad farewell; I miss you already. You are one President, dear Sir, who has been fully worthy of the title, and I doubt we'll see your equal, perhaps ever again. Courage like yours doesn't seem to come along more than once or twice in a generation.
Here's a salute to you, Sir, and if you should ever pass down Atlanta way, do stop in for a Julep and tell me how on earth you've managed it all with such grace and dignified fortitude.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at email@example.com.