Ledeen: Bush not tough!
“In short, as the President’s critics are rightly reminding him, more time has passed since 9/11 than transpired between Pearl Harbor and the surrender of the Japanese empire, and our most lethal enemies are still in power and still killing our people and our friends.”Ledeen is right! The President has yet to name the enemy, applauds the enemy’s ideology, rationalizes our friendship with a regime that’s the chief source of hatred (Saudi Arabia), funds faux allies (Egypt), provides weaponry to hostile populations (F-16s to Pakistan), fails to secure our border, fails to cutoff entry from Islamic countries, … need I go on?
Ledeen doesn’t go that far but he notes that “military officers … lament … that war has yet to be defined.” He rightfully praises our men and women in the military but decries the weak leadership. He applauds the “that dramatic strides toward self-government” in many quarters but says that is dwarfed by failing “to seriously challenge the legitimacy of the terror masters in Tehran and Damascus.” He worries that the President is “drifting” and stalling - hoping that we’ve done enough for history to take its course. He spells out specific failures – either materially or morally – to support oppressed freedom fighters in Iran and Syria.
Personally, I believe Mr. Bush is an honorable well-meaning human being. His advisors are mixed but on the whole respectable. But they are not up to the task of implementing a war-time regime. I do have some nagging questions. Did the close call last fall – with the specter of John Kerry on Bush’s tail – make us willing to imagine Bush is as tough as FDR or TR? Are we so focused on how worse it could have been that we can no longer imagine a tough Commander-In-Chief?
I, too, hesitate before being critical of the President. Too many critics seize any complaint and twist it to demoralize the war effort. Their purpose is to cause doubt and paralysis. But I’m not being critical of past actions – they are respectable as far as they go. The problem is they don’t go far enough. The hate-America leftist propaganda says we are too tough and create problems. In truth it is our hesitancy that emboldens the Islamist enemy. If the image of Bush as tough guy isn’t challenged, the left’s propaganda will succeed and toughness will be blamed when things get worse.
Ledeen believes Bush has strayed in the past but has gotten back on track. I think our President needs a helpful, but respectful, push. Or kick in the butt! At least, let us admit that he’s not being tough enough. We just have to face reality.