Then the president should ask war opponents, "If we were to pull out before we are certain that the elected Iraqi government can stand on its own, what will happen next? Iraq would surely be overrun by al-Qaida fanatics who would then establish a radical Islamic state like they did in Afghanistan, using that state as a terror base to eliminate Israel and come after Europe and the United States with renewed vigor. When that happens, will you take responsibility for it? I doubt it."
On the earmarks Democrats are loading onto the supplemental spending bill for Iraq, the president should list them and their authors by name and shame them before the American people. He won't because he's too nice, which is a wonderful personal trait but it cannot make one a great president. Better to be a nasty success than a genial failure. Bush gets no points from his Democratic opponents for being "Mr. Congeniality."
If the president cares not only about a legacy, but in seeing his Iraq policy successfully completed, he'd better start defending it and proclaiming the truth as he sees it before his opponents pound him to political death. The Left has no strategy for victory, only defeat. They won't say what would happen without a strong America opposing Islamofascism. Their strategy is retreat and defeat.
Why can't Mr. Bush say these things? Is he afraid liberals won't like him? They already don't like him. He shouldn't care if they like him less. The president is not the head of an etiquette club. He is a political leader and is also supposed to be a moral and military leader. The United States once was feared. Now, third-rate terrorists and puny dictators think they can do anything to us with few, if any, consequences. If conciliation and kindness won't do the job, fear might.
This business about U.S. attorneys is a distraction. Important issues need to be addressed. Where is the president's voice? Where is his confidence? Where is his leadership?
It's way past time to "kick butt."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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