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George W Bush


From Power Line:

In a biting column he titles “The first-person presidency,” Victor Davis Hanson conveniently summarizes the national security positions asserted by then Senator Obama, with relevant quotations, and contrasts them with the positions he has taken as president. He then provides this convenient summary:

Senator Obama opposed tribunals, renditions, Guantanamo, preventive detention, Predator-drone attacks, the Iraq War, wiretaps, and intercepts — before President Obama either continued or expanded nearly all of them, in addition to embracing targeted assassinations, new body scanning and patdowns at airports, and a third preemptive war against an oil-exporting Arab Muslim nation — this one including NATO efforts to kill the Qaddafi family. The only thing more surreal than Barack Obama’s radical transformation is the sudden approval of it by the once hysterical Left. In Animal Farm and 1984 fashion, the world we knew in 2006 has simply been airbrushed away.

Coincidentally, Jim Geraghty has received this “motivational poster” from a reader. It applies the teaching of Hanson’s column to the successful operation against bin Laden.

The words at the bottom read: “VINDICATION: When the loudest critic of your policies achieves his greatest success because of them.” Geraghty supports the point with another handy summary:

The interrogations of KSM (which included waterboarding) and the interrogation of Hassan Ghul (held in “black site” prisons) were key to identifying the courier; the president then authorized military action in a foreign country without going to the United Nations or informing the host government; the military action was unilateral, and we did not consult with our allies; Congress was not informed of the military action; and it increasingly appears that no serious effort was made to treat Osama bin Laden as a criminal (reading him his rights, etc.). The monitoring of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti’s phone call was a result of an extensive global wiretapping system. Furthermore, as Charles Krauthammer notes, the helicopters used in the raid came from Bagram and Jalalabad; if we had withdrawn from Afghanistan on the antiwar Left’s timetable, we would have had no bases from which to launch this operation.

I would supplement Geraghty’s summary with two related points. It was President Bush who set the goal of taking bin Laden dead or alive in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. It was President Obama who gave the order to kill (not capture) bin Laden. It was President Obama who ordered the action without the knowledge or consent of the United Nations, the Pakistanis, or any other nation.

Vindication, indeed. And thank you, President Bush.

The 2nd Graders Who Read with President Bush on 9/11 Have Something to Say to His Critics

From Ricochet:

For many, the death of Osama bin Laden has evoked memories of 9/11, especially memories of where we were and whom we were with when we first learned that the World Trade Center had been hit.  You’ll recall that President Bush was in a classroom of second graders in Sarasota, Florida reading The Pet Goat when he learned of the attacks on the WTC.

Upon learning of the attacks, the President maintained his composure and calmly waited until the children had finished their story before making his way to the school’s library for a speech and presser on the attacks.  Though Bush’s failure to leap out of his chair and make a dramatic exit at the precise moment he learned of the violence earned him a heap of criticism from the likes of Michael Moore, the children in that second grade classroom who are now juniors in high school laud the former President for his composure and poise on that fateful day.

“I don’t remember the story we were reading — was it about pigs?” says Williams, 16. “But I’ll always remember watching his face turn red. He got really serious all of a sudden. But I was clueless. I was just 7. I’m just glad he didn’t get up and leave, because then I would have been more scared and confused.” Chantal Guerrero, 16, agrees. Even today, she’s grateful that Bush regained his composure and stayed with the students until The Pet Goat was finished. “I think the President was trying to keep us from finding out,” says Guerrero, “so we all wouldn’t freak out.”

…One thing the students would like to tell Bush’s critics — like liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, whose 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 911 disparaged Bush for lingering almost 10 minutes with the students after getting word that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center — is that they think the President did the right thing. “I think he was trying to keep everybody calm, starting with us,” says Guerrero. Dubrocq agrees: “I think he was trying to protect us.” Booker Principal Gwendolyn Tose-Rigell, who died in 2007, later insisted, “I don’t think anyone could have handled it better. What would it have served if [Bush] had jumped out of his chair and ran out of the room?”

Reading the accounts of the children who shared that historic experience with President Bush, one thing’s for certain: these are certainly not the stupid American teens that Rob wrote about in his post yesterday.  Of that second grade class, many of the students have gone on to join Junior ROTC or to study in a military academy, and cite their experience on 9/11 as being the most influential moment of their entire lives.

God Bless America

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