Friday, January 16, 2009

Dark Knight

"George Bush has been unjustly mocked, maligned, and misrepresented. Perhaps no president since Lincoln has been treated more unfairly and less charitably than President Bush." So says Andrew Breitbart in The Washington Times:

I have a dark secret to tell ... so that it's on the record. It's something that is difficult to say to certain friends, peers, family and, lately, many fellow conservatives.

I still like George W. Bush. A lot.

For starters, I am convinced he is a fundamentally decent man, even though I have read otherwise at the Huffington Post.

President Bush is far smarter, more articulate and less ideological than his plentiful detractors scream, and, ultimately, he will be judged by history - not by vengeful Democrats, hate-filled Hollywood, corrupt foreign governments, an imploding mainstream media or fleeting approval ratings.

George W. Bush is history's president, a man for whom the long-term success or failure of democracy in Iraq will determine his place in history. He may end up a victim of his own tough choices, but the cheerleading for his demise when Iraq's outcome is yet determined has hurt America and possibly set up the next president for the same appalling partisan response.

The fact that the United States has not been attacked since Sept. 11, 2001, far exceeds the most wishful expert predictions of the time. Perhaps facing another al Qaeda-led barrage would have reinforced our need for national unity, caused us to recognize the gravity of the Islamist threat and fortified Mr. Bush's standing at home and abroad.

Yet, thankfully, that never happened. And Mr. Bush has been punished for this obvious success.

Indeed, he has. He's been vilified by a nation that he has struggled mightily to protect. Rather than expressing their gratitude that their children have not died at the hands of a terrorist attack since 9/11, rather than praising him for the work he's done on behalf of the poor around the world, rather than noting that he's the only president in history to actually liberate 50 million people from oppression, his critics shout that he's the worst president in history and that they will prosecute him for war crimes and for other dastardly deeds like listening to terrorists' phone conversations.

George Bush is the Dark Knight, despised by the very people he protected despite the damage it did to him personally. I wonder how many of his diminutive detractors would sacrifice their own popularity and approval ratings to protect people who would only despise them for it. Not many, I'll bet, but then not many of them have the character that Bush has.

There's much more from Breitbart at the link.


Obama's Epiphany

President-elect Obama seems to have come lately to a realization that most of the people listed in any phone book could have enlightened him about years ago. Closing Guantanamo Bay is going to prove a lot more difficult than just closing it.

During the campaign candidate Obama pontificated on our need to regain the moral high road and shut down a facility that had become a symbol of American peccability and a source of international dirty looks. Not wanting to incur the opprobrium of human rights paragons like Saudi Arabia and honorable people like the French, candidate Obama promised that he would close down Guantanamo Bay just as soon as he hung his coat in the Oval Office closet on Inauguration day. This sent thrills up the legs of lefties at MSNBC and HuffPo who, throughout the summer and fall, were heard bursting into spontaneous choruses of Adeste Fidelis.

Well, that was then when he needed lefty votes to get nominated and elected. This is now, and what was true about Gitmo then is not true now. The scales have fallen from the President-elect's eyes, he has to decide what to do with the barbarians housed at that facility, and he no longer has the option of voting present.

Indeed, what exactly will we do with a couple hundred hard-core Islamic Hannibal Lectors? Just let them go? Send them to their country of origin? Put them on trial (which for many of them will result in either letting them go or sending them home)?

Among those in Congress demanding that Gitmo be shut down there seems to be an epidemic of NIMBY (Not In My BackYard). Our pious congressional panjandrums insist that we bring these killers to trial or release them forthwith, except none of them wants them released in his or her district.

We could, of course, return the incorrigibles to their nation of origin, but Bush hasn't done that already, you'll be surprised to learn, because there they would be subject to real torture, not the kind of relatively innocuous coercion they experienced at Gitmo. What some who are calling for the closing of Gitmo fail to realize is that after a week in an Egyptian prison the detainees themselves will long for the days when the very worst that the very worst detainees had to endure was shackles, shivers, sleep deprivation, the sensation of drowning and being talked to crossly by female interrogators. This horrid treatment was, of course, sandwiched between sumptuous meals, daily prayers, and soccer games none of which they're likely to have much access to in Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

If, on the other hand, we put these thugs on trial they'll be tried as criminals rather than as combatants which means the standard of evidence will be set high, and, as Obama told George Stephanopolous last Sunday, the evidence may be "tainted" if the detainees weren't advised of their Miranda rights by the Marines who apprehended them. The courts will then be obligated to drop the charges and these orcs would be free to go and fly more airplanes into more skyscrapers. Indeed, Reuters reports that the army believes that as many as sixty one detainees released from Guantanamo have already returned to terrorist activity.

Barack Obama sounds as if all of this is just beginning to dawn on him which makes one wonder if he's ever really thought about it before or whether he's just been parroting left-wing nostrums that he overheard at the knee of mentors like Jeremiah Wright. And if he hasn't really thought about this what else hasn't he thought about?

Happy Inauguration Day.