Was George W. Bush a great president?
By Charles A. Morse
Yes George W. Bush was a great president. Not because of his domestic policy, which was only slightly less liberal than previous modern administrations in terms of growing the size and scope of the government, but because of his far sighted and revolutionary foreign policy. By liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein and by striking a deadly blow against the Taliban in Afghanistan, George Bush set off a chain reaction in the Arab and Islamic countries, one that will inexorably propel those oppressed societies forward on a path toward democracy and modernity. Genuine progress may not become apparent this year, or even by the end of the decade, but the job that Bush started will eventually come to fruition because he was right.
If there is one positive thing that could be said at this point about President Barack Obama it is that he is continuing, at least in deed, the Bush policies in the Middle East and for this he should be commended.
George Bush will eventually go down in history as the liberator of millions of people from the brutal jackboot of Islamic dictatorship and jihadist theocracy. The peoples of the Arab and Islamic countries deserve to be free. Franklin D. Roosevelt provided the leadership that led to the liberation of Europe from Nazism and Ronald Reagan led the way in the liberation of Russia and Eastern Europe from Communism. Likewise the Bush policy was to establish human rights in a part of the world that has few. Bush was carrying out an American tradition that harkens back to the founding of the American Republic and the revolution against the British tyrant.
General Ulysses S. Grant called for "unconditional surrender" in the war against the southern insurrection and by doing so Grant set the terms of that war, contrasted the political and moral cause of the Union with that of the Confederacy, and turned the tide toward victory for the Union and the emancipation of the slaves. FDR also called for the "unconditional surrender" of the Nazis while attending a conference in Casablanca in 1942. By doing so he galvanized the moral force of the allies and sealed the fate of Hitler. Reagan led in the collapse of communism by calling the Soviet Union the "evil empire" and exhorting Mr. Gorbechev to "tear down that wall."
On the 5th anniversary of the jihadist attack on September 11, 2001, Bush addressed the nation stating "we've learned a great deal about the enemy. We have learned that they are evil and kill without mercy but not without purpose. We have learned that they form a global network of extremists who are driven by a perverted vision of Islam...a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and desposes all dissent."
Bush defined the enemy when he stated that " The war against this enemy is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century, and the calling of our generation...We face an enemy determined to bring death and suffering into our homes...If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons...If we yield Iraq to men like bin Laden, our enemies will be emboldened."
"The terrorists fear freedom as much as they do our firepower. They are thrown into panic at the sight of an old man pulling the election lever, girls enrolling in schools, or families worshipping God in their own traditions. They know that given a choice, people will choose freedom over their extremist ideology. So their answer is to deny people this choice by raging against the forces of freedom and moderation. This struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it is a struggle for civilization.
Charles A. Morse is a senior writer for Enter Stage Right and can be heard every day from 9:00am to 11:00am on WSMN in Nashua. His web site can be found at http://www.chuckmorse.com/ and his blog is located at http://www.morsescode.com/.