Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In Praise of George W. Bush - or, The Hero Wears a White Hat

(bumped up from yesterday)

It's the last full day of President Bush's second term, and I will stand up and say I am sorry to see him go. As much as the hard-left despises him (and so much of that filters through the media as they are on the same page), his historical recognition will come much earlier than his detractors dare admit.

He was The Man when we were attacked on 9/11, and even many a diehard Democrat was willing to admit in those terrifying days that Bush would answer that attack properly, and secretly thanked God for again providing this nation with the leadership it needed when an existential crisis arose.

While some may fault his military decisions, his approval of The Surge in Iraq, when the Democrats and the media (and Barack Obama) were demanding defeat, may represent a turning point in American and Middle Eastern history. It proved that a Western military could engage and defeat an irregular counterinsurgancy, it showed that American would not "cut and run" after getting a bloody nose, and it shows a wealthy and progressive democracy can exist within the confines of a Muslim-majority country.

Not only did Bush win militarily in Afghanistan and Iraq, he forced a surrender from Lybia (and a re-enrty of that country into the world community) and threw a scare into the rest of Middle East so profound that no nations (with perhaps the exception of Iran) were willing to host terrorists plotting against America, lest their rulers suffer Saddam's fate.

The economy - well, despite losing two major American cities in his first five years in office, Bush kept the economy going strong until the last few months of his term, when a massive default on loans - many made through Democratic-controlled government agencies such as Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae - caused a financial upheavel. One which he may have prevented from getting worse with his bailout - much unloved, granted, but better than a total collapse of the American banking system a la 1929.

Is his laisse-faire approach to capitalism still the best in these times where the air is filled with cries for more regulation? Well, consider how expensive gas was early this summer - $4 a gallon, no? Bush did...nothing. Price of gas in New Jersey this morning? $1.55/gallon for 87 octane. If we had instituted a government program, do you think my gas would have been that affordable today? Or would I have been ponying up closer to $5- per? That's an easy one...

The change in perception of Bush has already begun - the AP attempts a hit peice on Iran and Bush policy, and get this from the Persian nation's younger generation:

"America is a superpower. It is a mistake not to restore ties with America," said Minu Samadi, a 24-year-old art student. "The embassy seizure was necessary 30 years ago. Now it is necessary to restore relations."

"....The election of Obama is only one factor," said Reza Sharifi, a member of Iran's main reformist student body. "Healing ties also greatly depends on who takes power in Iran."

And the Dali Lama, much to Richard Gere's dismay:

The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence on Saturday candidly stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa because the minds of terrorists are closed. "It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence," the Tibetan spiritual leader said...

The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile left the audience stunned when he said "I love President George W Bush."

Et Tu, Barack Obama?

Obama also said he thought Bush made "the best decisions that he could at times under some very difficult circumstances."

And that's much better than poor decisions made under difficult circumstances - see Carter, Jimmy or Clinton, Bill.

So I wish President George W. Bush the best as he rides off into retirement, and I humbly thank him for his service to this great nation over the past eight years - as a leader, as a commander-in-chief, and as a example of moral clarity and the importance of inner strength . For a man to stick to his guiding principles for so long when "from the day President Bush took office, the long knives were out for him", speaks to a courage that not many of us can admit to possess.

Good-bye, W. , and thank you. You will be missed:

"The Hero always wears a white hat..."


Anonymous said...

Nice tribute. Good pic!

Erica said...

I love Dubya, and will always be greatful for his leadership and moral conviction. He is a very decent man, a good president, and did his best to protect us. A lovely tribute to a good guy, who I was glad to have as my president.

Anonymous said...

He's the Man.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank! The JerseyNut, what beatiful words...I AM A BIG BUSH FAN..