So the fine men who write this blog want to know if I can really claim to like Bush. Here's my answer:
This week marks the third anniversary of Reagan's death and everyone's summoning him. Let's ignore the Iran-Contra scandal, and give him credit, he was more popular than Bush. Bush has plenty of flaws, but he is honest and is steadfast.
The critic's biggest issue is without a doubt the war in Iraq, so let's take a time machine back to 2001, in a September 20th address, Bush stated:
Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war? We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.
This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.
Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest.
Guess what? Bush hasn't changed his game plan. He never promised us a short fight. It's the American public that has ADD.
At this point there is always the quick shot that we entered the war under false pretenses: there were no weapons of mass destruction. Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and most other prominent politicians also believed that there were weapons of mass destruction.
Not backing down? Let's look at the deaths of thousands of American soldiers. While every death of a young, healthy American should be mourned, we need to keep the numbers in perspective. During Vietnam, there were 58,000 deaths. During the American Civil War, there were 500,000 deaths. In Iraq, there have been approximately 3500 deaths in four years of fighting. Each year 3800 Americans die in accidental drownings. Should we fill all swimming pools?
Plenty of intelligent, well intentioned people disagree with our presence in Iraq, and even Afghanistan, and I respect their position. Bush, however, is an upfront leader. He will not make a decision based on the ever-changing whims of half-informed nay-sayers; he has his beliefs, and he follows them. I may disagree with some of his economic policies, but I'm not ashamed to say that I voted for him, both times.