A Response to “Bush’s Wayward War”

Aside from providing an exhaustive summary of the anti-Bush talking points from the Democratic National Committee, your string of groundless attacks on the President’s “Wayward War” effort reveals the deep partisan bitterness guiding the president’s

Aside from providing an exhaustive summary of the anti-Bush talking points from the Democratic National Committee, your string of groundless attacks on the President’s “Wayward War” effort reveals the deep partisan bitterness guiding the president’s political opponents, as well as the emptiness of their position. Only one of your assertions was correct, an endorsement of the point made by Secretary Colin Powell which President Bush reflected numerous times last week. “Nobody wants to go to war.”

To your tired claim that the President is pursuing military action in Iraq to distract the nation’s attention from economic concerns, you should employ your own weary battle cry – “Where is the proof?” It’s a convenient argument for Democrats, but hardly realistic. Frankly, it’s hateful rhetoric. To suggest that President Bush would sacrifice human lives for traction on political issues is to ask Americans to believe that Bush is evil incarnate.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? Your editorial unloads on the President with such obvious partisan rage, you choke off your own credibility with the unmistakable stench of sour grapes. Bush’s “stealthy” election win is part of the current debate? If you insist. Bush won 29 states, including the one his opponent calls home. Gore got 19. What’s stealthy about that? The fact that you chose to include every imaginable barb in your assault on the war effort demonstrates that your criticism, in fact, has nothing to do with the issue of Iraq. “Maybe it’s America that needs a regime change.” You hate President Bush. That’s the only point your editorial makes.

Were it not so, the emptiness of every one of your groundless attacks wouldn’t be so easily proven. You call Saddam Hussein’s tepid acceptance of inspectors an “olive branch” and criticize Bush for downplaying it. The Iraqi dictator says he’ll accept inspectors only under the previous U.N. terms which forbid anyone from inspecting anything other than military bases. The majority of the country is off-limits. An olive branch? You’re living with your eyes closed. Or, more correctly, partisan contempt has left you blind.

Since you refuse to entertain the notion that the President and his supporters are acting in the interest of national security in their effort to avert future tragedy (remember that thing with the planes and the dead people?), you level a string of ridiculous motivations for the tension with Iraq, once again without any justification. Lust for oil? A classic. Since the left hurled the same accusation in 1990, I suppose we should be looking back at U.S. nationalization of the Kuwaiti oil industry and soaring oil prices. Wrong. Americans put out the burning oil fields (remember the sea of flames Saddam left behind?) and the price of oil went down and remained at historic lows for nearly a decade.

Blind loyalty to Israel? Is that the same Israel that Bush harshly criticized last week and strongly urged to withdraw from Arafat’s compound in Ramallah? The same Israel at odds with the U.S. over the formation of a Palestinian state, a policy embraced by the Bush administration? Does that sound like blind loyalty? Perhaps partisan hatred of Bush makes his critics deaf as well.

“The war his daddy couldn’t finish?” Is it history or just the United States that the editorial board is trying to insult? President George H.W. Bush followed the U.N. mandate to the letter, vowing to liberate Kuwait and kick the Iraqis out. The U.S. led one of the greatest military victories in history and ceased hostilities only after achieving its objectives. There was no unified outcry to pursue Saddam in Baghdad at the time. Bush completed every stated goal, much to the dismay of his Democratic opponents who voted against military action and predicted an American bloodbath in the desert.

America’s perspective is different now. We’ve been attacked where we live. Our defensive posture is easily understood. Once again, you were right when you stated that nobody wants to go to war. However, our national security is faced with the reality of anti-American extremists who have shown a willingness to use whatever means necessary to kill U.S. citizens. Saddam Hussein isn’t a military threat to the U.S. so much as he represents a potential holocaust through his association with these groups. Does anyone doubt that Saddam would provide weapons to terrorists? (This is the same man who sent a terror squad to Kuwait in a Toyota Land Cruiser packed with explosives to kill President Bush in 1993.) If he remains in charge of Iraq’s vast military research capabilities, what will he do when they develop a portable nuclear device, the kind he’s been working to acquire for decades? Where will the anti-Bush crowd be when one of America’s cities (perhaps Philadelphia) is devastated by terrorists with friends in Baghdad? Where will the snappy editorial writers (who refer to Spielberg movies in lieu of an understanding of history) be when smallpox rages up and down the east coast with no cure? Will they still be attacking our own president and clamoring for “proof” that Saddam is a threat?

While President Bush acts on his promise to make the safety of every American citizen an ironclad priority, it’s useful to engage in a healthy debate about the specifics of his policies. Your editorial, however, is neither healthy nor useful. With its groundless personal attacks and one-sided posturing, the Temple News editorial board has proven itself to be a group of dithering uninformed political hacks, incapable of mounting a salient argument beyond their own partisan whining, guilty as charged of the sin Tom Daschle railed about in the Senate – playing politics with the war effort. Maybe it’s the Temple News that needs a regime change. America is in very capable hands.

In the words of John Stuart Mills, “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decaying state of moral patriotic feelings which thinks nothing is worth fighting for is far worse. Such a person is a miserable creature who will never be free, unless made and kept so by men better than himself.”
God Bless America.

– Dawn (Temple Graduate Student) and Michael Dneaster

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