Sun, October 31, 2004
I back Bush
Re-election of stalwart president best course for U.S. -- and world
By Paul Jackson -- Calgary Sun
DALLAS -- The reason why it is so absolutely essential American voters back President George W. Bush on Tuesday is written -- no, carved -- in history.
It is that only an individual dedicated to fight a war can save western civilization.
An individual who vacillates, a characteristic seemingly woven into Democratic president contender John Kerry's psyche, can only spur the end of our way of life.
Two history lessons:
On the very eve of Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933 Sir Winston Churchill was spurred to get moving. From that point on he tried to warn the world Nazi Germany had to be tackled quickly. If not, it would ignite a war lasting years, destroy city on city, and kill millions of men, women and children.
The great man -- some say the greatest man of the 20th century -- warned against appeasement.
He proclaimed appeasers -- pacifists, peaceniks and cowards -- believed if you kept feeding a hungry crocodile other victims, by the time it gets to you it won't be hungry any longer. We all know that kind of optimism -- cowardice -- is misplaced. Churchill was ignored and history came to pass as he feared it would.
After the Second World War came the rise of the Soviet Empire with the enslavement of Eastern Europe.
This time, common sense prevailed: President Harry Truman, with the aid of British Commonwealth countries and Western European countries, decided never to back down in the face of Moscow's threats. We drew the line and defended ourselves.
Because of the resolve of President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul, Soviet Communism fell into the trash can of history and hundreds of millions of men, women and children were freed from harsh dictatorships.
Today, we face no less daunting an enemy than Nazism and Communism -- radical Islamic extremism.
An enemy that, like Communism, has entwined itself into the fabric of our society. It's adherents strike everywhere: New York City, Madrid, Bali, even a distant village in Russia.
The question on the ballot on Tuesday is who best to lead America and its allies in the war against international terrorism.
Domestic problems are mild compared to the spectre that haunts us. Recall, in the 1930s, the world was gripped by a terrible Depression -- but that had to take a back seat to our very survival against an even more odious blight.
While even I'll admit Kerry can't exactly be compared to the ever-optimistic Neville Chamberlain, Churchill's nemesis, who believed "peace in our time" could always be achieved by showing your enemies who trusted them to eventually do the right thing, he has shown nothing of the stamina needed to fight Islamic terrorism, or of the understanding the true nature of the enemy of the 21st century.
Bush frequently points out only 12 Senators voted against last year's $87 billion appropriation to support U.S. soldiers in Iraq -- and two of those were John Kerry and his running mate, the super rich lawyer John Edwards.
Iraq, of course, was ruled by one of the most evil despots of modern history, Saddam Hussein, but after a lightning quick war of liberation by U.S., British and other allied troops, it is now a fledgling democracy, its men, women and children free for the first time in their lives.
To Bush's charge, Kerry countered with his now infamous remark: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it!" Where does this man really stand on any issue?
What is his moral compass?
We really don't know. But over the past four years, we have learned where Bush stands on every single issue and we know his moral code.
Kerry calls himself a war hero, but the waters are certainly muddied on that self-serving claim.
Does less than four months in Vietnam give you sterling credentials to lead a nation on a war footing?
Bush's main opponent for the Republican nomination four years ago was a real Vietnam war hero -- six years as a PoW --and one who didn't pretend to throw away his medals -- Senator John McCain.
McCain gave a full-page question and answer interview to Time magazine for its July 26 edition.
One quotation was particularly highlighted.
Assessed McCain: "I think George Bush has led the nation: Look at history and the faultlines of being weak and inconsistent.
Then think of whether voting for the flip-flopping John Kerry or the tested, resolute leadership of George W. Bush will be better for America and the world."
Next Column: Bush will prevail