HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

9/24/2001

In praise of George W. Bush and America


This is the last bloggage I ever thought I’d write, but it’s the fair thing to do. For the record, let me acknowledge some things. First, I don’t think that Al Gore would have done anything different from George in the events and aftermath of September 11. In fact, the response to the terrorism has been mundane and rather bureaucratic. On the other hand, those features of current policy are exactly what is necessary. Second, I still would vote against Bush if I had the chance. My biggest concern is the judges that are appointed for life to the Federal Judiciary, and it is my preference to see judges that are more sympathetic to privacy rights in particular and personal liberties in general when it comes to these appointments. In general, Democrats appoint better judges. Third, I continue to worry about domestic events and our general foreign policy. My newfound respect for Bush merely reflects his response to the current crisis.


I admit that many of my worst fears about our president were misplaced. That was hard to say, but it needed to be said. Probably the most fearful I have been about the helm of our country was on the night of the attack itself. I was sure that cowboy George would send a stream of millions of dollars of military hardware immediately towards some rocky hills in the middle of nowhere, or suspend civil liberties of the constitution (the jury may be still out here), or generally be too inept to be effectual. This hasn’t happened. Bush has managed to be firm and resolute, if well coached, and the public is generally responding well. The speech of last Thursday illustrated that the administration is being careful, and thorough, and is responding in a measured way.

I have many friends that are pacifists. To a degree I am too. I would have likely not stuck around for Vietnam, as it seems to have been patently a dirty proxy war that didn’t affect US interests and was about stopping local sovereignty. I am, as my last post would imply, afraid of the US embroiling the rest of the world in an armed struggle with no objectives and no goals. I have now heard from several friends that have been to anti-war rallies or are organizing anti-war organizations. Yet, now is essentially two weeks from the bombing and the only responses to the bombing have been political, covert, and diplomacy based. What would the pacifists have us do? I recognize we are on a war footing, but no shots have been fired. We are responding in the way I would have us do it, if I were the president. I am growing convinced that the diehard element that is against war and against the president would be so no matter what the policy would be, or what the war may be.

The anti-war element is mostly very intelligent, and very earnest, and very concerned with humans all over the world. They decry the deaths that result from US policy and reckon that the deaths in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington are tantamount to payback for what we have done abroad. They are against the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, and the spread of American culture. It is not besides the point to say that these are goals shared by the terrorists. I think that the tepid nature of condemnations of the terror attacks have less to do with the lack of consideration for innocent lives lost and more a lack of regard for the symbols of America that were attacked. The WTC towers represented the crossbars of the largest dollar bill on earth, as one columnist termed it. It is no coincidence that a prominent anti-capitalist rap group, the Coup, featured the same destruction on the cover of its latest album.

I offer the following for this group of disaffected young academics: This crisis is the last best chance for you, the vocal minority to make a valid case before you are shut out in the new political consensus that is now developing. Working for peace in this case means helping people wounded by the attacks, not by speculating as to the next wicked steps of what you regard as a fundamentally evil government—ours. If I perceive the reservations you have with current policy as tinny, sour, and mean-spirited, how does the rest of America see it? To succeed in a democratic society, you need to capture the hearts and mind of people. And I am not impressed with your efforts thus far.
MO? Mar Cod-Hoff-e?

I enjoyed greatly this list of 32 acceptable ways to transliterate the name of the leader of Libya. Very neat.

Yes! More British Profanity! I love this stuff.

Oh, and in other good news Saint Genarro’s blood liquified this year. Sometimes it doesn’t. Whew.

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