Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 10/3/14
Even though it’s truly not who he is, one cannot help but wonder if President George W. Bush is enjoying a moment of Schadenfreude – an interlude of guilty pleasure attendant to watching his successor squirm.
When President Bush left office, he left behind a relatively stable situation in Iraq and a legacy of having taken action – however imperfect – to confront Islamic extremism on its home turf and on American terms.
He did so at considerable personal and political expense. By this point in his second term, President Bush’s approval ratings were in the tank and a change of party in the White House was all but inevitable.
Barack Obama won the presidency largely on the premise that George W. Bush was a “cowboy” who started an unnecessary war.
The guiding premise for Obama was then and is now that if America would stop overreacting to Islamic jihadism, Islamic jihadis would stop overreacting to us. This is a near constant among far-left liberals. They see America not as the beacon of hope for the world and the defender of freedom of last resort. Hard left liberals see American strength as provocative. Thus can be explained bombs in the World Trade Center parking garage, truck bombs at Marine barracks in Beirut, attacks on U.S. embassies, the bombing attack of a U.S. Naval vessel and, ultimately, the use of U.S. commercial airliners as cruise missiles against major U.S. cities.
Events now unfolding put the lie to this narrative.
Beginning with a speech in Cairo in 2009, the president embarked on what many came to call an “apology tour.” In op-eds and in speeches before audiences at home and abroad, he was quick to point out America’s flaws and lay blame for the world’s problems at America’s feet.
And whenever he found himself in a tight rhetorical spot, he particularly blamed George W. Bush.
Given the events of 2011 through today –events that have included evacuation of all U.S. military personnel from Iraq, the murder of a U.S. ambassador, the video beheadings of two American journalists and terrorist annexation of land in Iraq and Syria greater in area than that of Great Britain – it is now apparent that for whatever mistakes George W. Bush may have made, those mistakes can now be seen in the aggregate as an imperfect answer to a perfectly understood problem.
Visit the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, read the quotes on the walls, and you will come to understand that President Bush saw 9/11 as a signal event in a growing and dangerous clash between civilizations.
If Barack Obama were open to learning, he would be realizing now that America is not the problem. It is the perception of American weakness that is the problem.
If he were to be honest, President Obama would admit that for whatever mistakes he made, Bush’s fundamental premise was sound.
Islamic jihadis will continue visiting death and chaos upon the West until either the jihadis are triumphant or until the West gathers the will and marshals the means to stop them.