March of events justifies Bush; they even changed him |

March of events justifies Bush; they even changed him

One of my favorite editorial cartoons of late shows the parental Donald Rumsfeld driving a car down the road with a pack of kids (labeled “press”) in the back, screaming “Is it Vietnam yet? Is it Vietnam yet?”

It surely sums up some of the arguments that sucked up the free space in this paper before the war and again now that the images of the Iraqis dancing in the streets have permeated the airwaves.

Surely there might be a quagmire around the corner, but the war has ended (and shame on anyone cynically hoping for a major setback). It’s time for the demagoguery to loosen up.

It’s worth noting there is, in fact, a respectable argument against what brought us to conflict in the first place. But it requires facts, a grasp of history, rational thinking, an alternative, and most of all, respect for the other side.

Sadly, the high school dropouts-cum-geo-political experts in Hollywood will need to borrow their agents’ dictionaries.

This argument would be against the White House’s policy of pre-emption and the notion that the U.S. has a duty to protect its citizens by pursuing those who they believe pose a threat, even before that threat presents itself (be it as a nuke or an airliner).

Or even that we have a duty to spread democracy across the world – there were about a dozen democratic nations at the end of World War I. Today there are more than 120.

It’s a clear shift from even Bush’s presidential campaign, where he was critical of nation building at the hands of the Clinton administration. (Ask yourselves, for a moment, if you were against his end-run around the United Nations in Kosovo – it might help you realize why your “anti” lies where it does.)

Many will argue Sept. 11 changed this, and indeed it’s history recent and valid enough that those of you still reliving the horrors of Vietnam would do well to study. The images of two airliners bringing down a major symbol of the success of freedom still cause tremendous pain among millions.

It was a defining moment for this country and for the president, like it or not.

The argument is not “a Bush/Texan/Haliburton war for oil” (the numbers don’t and never did add up for this myopic argument and discounts the strong support among Democrats, for starters).

It’s not “North Korea first” (their ability to decimate Seoul before we even reached Pyongyang is as clear as Clinton’s failed 1994 Agreed Framework Policy).

Nor is it “Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction,” as argued by the one-sided panelists appearing at Colorado Mountain College and elsewhere, busily paraphrasing one out of hundreds of former weapons inspectors’ assertions, disproven over a decade ago, while dismissing even Hans Blix’s assertion that Iraq has failed to account for its massive bio-weapons program (this report and criticism is available online).

Which brings us to the arguments that neither earn nor deserve anyone’s respect: First and foremost is the thinly veiled assertion that Bush is to blame for missing Sept. 11 (it’s arguable that was supposed to happen in 1993 with the first WTC bombing) by not attacking the Taliban. Secondly, blaming the GOP for every ill in society (cute at best, childish and base at worst). Lastly, claiming Bush is the “real butcher of Baghdad” and a “moron” (even funnier coming from an actor denied entrance into college by failure of a simple entrance exam).

Most of this is the real attempt at swaying opinion through propaganda and irrational emotion – not facts.

So, some advice to the peace activists and those of you attending the CMC Speaker Series Forum: Stop talking to yourselves. Most of us on the other side recognize your principles will not change, and your stance can be respected for the right reasons, especially if they are based in fact, not hubris and incendiary hogwash and a hatred for anything put forth by President Bush.

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