Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thank you, President Bush!

Cross posted on The Next Right

1. “At the time of 9/11, which will forever rightly be regarded as the defining moment of the [Bush] presidency, history will look in vain for anyone predicting that the Americans murdered that day would be the very last ones to die at the hands of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in the US from that day to this.”
(British Historian Andrew Roberts)

Why no more victims in the US?

- President Bush acted to disrupt Al Qaeda training bases in Afghanistan. Through diplomacy Bush garnered international support to force the Taliban, which allowed the Al Qaeda bases to flourish, out of power.

- President Bush, again with an international force, threw down the gauntlet in Iraq as the main battlefield in the confrontation with Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda accepted that venue. Al Qaeda lost.

U.S. casualties in Iraq today are at an all time low. The 314 U.S. military casualties in Iraq in 2008 were significantly less than the 509 homicides in just one American city (Chicago) in 2008.

Iraq’s democracy gains stability every day. Economically, Iraq has blossomed. The GDP of Iraq in 2008 was $114 billion nearing the 1980 pre-Saddam $130 billion. In 2003 under Saddam Hussein it had fallen to $30 billion.

- The Patriot Act and other congressionally approved programs have disrupted terrorist activities in the U.S.

2. President Bush’s policies have resulted in freeing over 58 million people from brutal regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan where torture and maiming were commonplace, not to mention execution of political rivals. (This stands in contrast with the shame the U.S. and the world shares for standing idly by while 2 million civilians were slaughtered in Cambodia in the 1970's.)

3. No corruption or graft. The Scooter Libby trial was the closest thing to a scandal, and that was not about breaking any laws initially but about conduct after the investigation started. It turned out that no one broke laws initially.

4. Grace under fire despite continuing bias and withering criticism from political opponents and the mainstream press (which has refused to headline Bush successes--like the Surge--in they same manner they headlined difficulties). President Bush is a lot like Lincoln in regard to not lashing back.

There were failures too–as there are in all presidencies. But, this is a time to dwell on the fact that Americans are safer now than we were eight years ago. That is President George W. Bush’s gift to the American people.

Can the incoming administration keep that gift?* President-elect Obama seems to be following similar policies (in wanting a surge in Afghanistan, voting for renewing the Patriot Act as a Senator, and keeping Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense).

*At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 the question was asked of Benjamin Franklin: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin responded: “A Republic, if you can keep it.

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