Skip to comments.Re-Elect George Bush (ABQ Journal)
Posted on 10/31/2004 5:27:09 PM PST by CedarDave
The horrific vision of jetliners knifing through glass walls, office workers leaping to their deaths and the twin towers collapsing united Americans and united the community of nations with America.
In those wrenching months after 9/11, President George W. Bush led with clarity and resolve. The United States, it seemed, could harness that nearly universal good will and its own newfound sense of determination as we tried to heal our wounds and prepared to confront this new evil.
It was a pivotal moment for the nation and the defining moment for a president who, after being elected by the narrowest of margins, was suddenly handed a mandate covered in ashes and blood.
It was a mandate he would have gladly rejected. But there is no choice in matters such as this. The terrorists had declared war on us years before, and their words were matched with far-off violence. But, few of us paid much attention until a plan hatched before this administration's watch played out on American soil, setting George Bush on a path of action that led through Afghanistan and Iraq.
Even those who believe the path leads in the right direction can find along it twists and turns to criticize. Three years after 9/11, Bush has lost much of the support citizens give a wartime president, and the United States has lost much of the international sympathy it enjoyed.
While the record is mixed, the recommendation, ultimately, is to re-elect George W. Bush.
Aside from the mistakes -- one of which is great reluctance to admit to mistakes -- Bush has done one essential thing correctly. He has put America on the offensive against a new kind of threat.
The invasion of Afghanistan, haven to Osama bin Laden's thugs, was no mistake. The results are stunning: this month's voter turnout in a country with no democratic tradition and in the face of Taliban-threatened violence puts our elections to shame.
And come January, Iraqis will have an opportunity to vote in an election in which less than 99 percent of the vote goes to Saddam Hussein.
As in Afghanistan, the military drive to Iraq was brilliantly prosecuted. But the diplomatic lead-up to the war was far beneath the standard established by the president's father. It is not necessary for the United States to get permission, but it is unnecessary to alienate allies we will need in the future.
The aftermath of war has been mismanaged at times, fostering animosity throughout a Muslim world that Bush hopes will turn from fanaticism toward the moderating force of democracy. Among the miscalculatons: We were not prepared for the rapid military success, and we never had enough troops on the ground to transition from strike force to police force. Failure to plan the peace led to fiascos like Abu Ghraib. The prison that symbolized Baathist brutality for Iraqis, came to symbolize American depravity throughout the Muslim world.
One hopes the administration has learned from these mistakes. What Kerry's mistakes might be are a matter of speculation. But he has offered no real alternative in Iraq, beyond hollow prouncements of "better" and "smarter." While Bush has alienated old allies like Germany and France, Kerry has ridiculed those who stand with us like Britain, Australia and Japan.
One thread runs throughout the Senate record of this would-be commander in chief. The man who volunteered to fight in Vietnam fought just as hard against measures to make the U.S. military stronger, to give our soldiers the best tools to get the job done. He voted against the first gulf war that had such strong support internationally. His votes on the war in Iraq send a mixed message, at best.
The attacks of 9/11 were not a mixed message. Since then, the United States, under George Bush, has been sending clear messages to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. The defining issue in this election is whether voters will send a clear message of resolve in the face of threats renewed by bin Laden in a video released last week.
The mission hasn't changed. The threat hasn't changed. It's the wrong time to change leadership.
On the domestic front, the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act is producing measurable progress in our schools -- a dramatic improvement over earlier reforms. At the very least, the Medicare drug benefit is easing the pain of high costs for poorer seniors. Both initiatives should be seen as first steps that can be improved upon, but both are steps for which this administration and Congress deserve credit.
Bush inherited an economy in recession. The terrorists' well-aimed blow at the nation's financial nerve center took it down another notch, further choking off revenue as military efforts abroad ramped up spending. The economy is growing again, but fiscal discipline in the White House and in Congress is necessary to rein in deficits.
On the jobs front, America faces enormous competitive challenges in a new global economy. Politial rhetoric on saving or protecting certain jobs is a hollow promise. We must retool and restructure. Our view is that Bush is best equipped to do that.
The "to-do" list for a new administration is a long one that includes strengthening international relations, addressing the deficit and the integrity of Social Security and Medicare, achieving consensus on energy policy and keeping America's competitive edge sharp through research and development.
Bush is capable on all issues. But all of these ultimately are trumped by the wild card of terrorism, the issue on which the president is the clear choice. The Journal endorses the re-election of President Bush.
Copyright The Albuquerque Journal
LOL I thought it said BBQ!!!!
The ABQ Tribune, which comes out in the afternoon and almost no one reads, is really the more liberal of the 2 papers, IMO. Both papers are not always kind to Big Bill, probably because they realize he believes the press should be a propoaganda tool for his self-promotion efforts.
Thanks for the clarification. It tells you how much I read newspapers. I haven't had a newspaper subscription since the 1980s and my first DOS-based PC. Maybe the Journal's endorsement of GWB is not such a big thing as I thought.
The Journal is hardly conservative, but they aren't kool-aid drinkers either. The endorsement is a positive thing for Bush/Cheney and definitely a slap at Richardson.
Now imagine if you will what would happen if somebody on the Republican side had done this. It could be somebody running for school board in the middle of Montana. Immediately the mainstream media would pick it up, and the outrage would snowball. As it stands now, other than a mention here or there, the Democrats are getting a huge pass.
It would appear they're going to get away with insulting people with disabilities.
Remember...there are two sets of rules. One for Democrats, who can say anything they want without scrutiny from the media, and one for Republicans who can't say, "Protect America" without being ridiculed.
JR, does this bite you as much as it does me?