President Bush has many attributes that suit him for his current role as the nation's wartime president, but none is serving him better than his deep-seated sense of moral clarity.
Almost every time the president has spoken to the nation since the Sept. 11 atrocities, he has emphasized that, in its war on terrorism, the United States is engaged in a moral cause. There can be no mistaking the meaning of President Bush's repeated utterances:
This is a war between good and evil ... We intend to exact justice from the evildoers ... We are engaged in a noble cause ... Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature ... we go forward to defend freedom, and all that is good and just in our world ... We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety ... They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century ... I ask you to uphold the values of America ... We are in a fight for our principles ... assured of the rightness of our cause.
In a society dominated by fuzzy thinking and blurred lines of ethical distinction, President Bush's acutely calibrated moral compass is a breath of fresh air. But it's much more than that. It is vital to the success of America's mission against worldwide terror.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that our superior weapons and fighting forces alone will carry the day. Unless our unparalleled military might is buttressed by a unified commitment to the righteousness of our calling, we will surely defeat ourselves. Terror will have won, and our children and their children will live as strangers to freedom – under the bondage of perpetual fear or the chains of tyranny.
We learned many lessons from our Vietnam War experience but none more profound than that a country divided cannot effectively prosecute a war. Talk to our veterans. Most of them will tell you that our failure was not due to being outgunned or even outmaneuvered by the guerilla warriors in the impenetrable jungles of a remote country in Southeast Asia.
Forget whether you believe we should have been there in the first place. We lost – or abandoned the cause – because we stripped the military of our moral support and left them naked to fight with no guiding sense of purpose. The communists knew of our Achilles' heel. That's why they funded (and helped mobilize) the radical protest groups in this country to undermine our national resolve. Recently exposed Soviet documents make this undeniable.
Why do you suppose our wartime vulnerability is related to our perceived justness of the mission? Is it not because we strive to be a moral nation? Haven't we collectively aspired to be a moral people?
President Bush understands that our morality as a nation is not just critical to our resolve during war. It is also foundational to our form of government and the uniqueness of our culture, as our framers well understood.
I know that many of the "enlightened" among us scoff at the notion of moral absolutes, and even more so at the suggestion that America is utterly innocent in this matter. These muddleheaded sorts are agonizing over the root causes of these depraved acts of genocide of thousands of innocents. Can you fathom being burdened with uncertainty about something so intrinsically clear to the rest of us mortals? Can you imagine one of these relativists being president right now? Phil Donahue as secretary of state?
Susan Sontag, one of the anointed, recently demanded: "Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a cowardly attack on civilization or liberty or humanity or the free world, but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?" Isn't it astonishing how moralistic these relativists can be?
Sontag can remain in her ivory tower along with her elitist comrades, pathetically oblivious to the fact that if our commander in chief shared her views, it wouldn't be long before her freedom to express such inanity evaporated.
So the next time you hear George Bush pontificating about the nobleness of our cause and our goodness as a people, don't assume that he's rehearsing for a part in a John Wayne movie. Just be grateful that he is a decisive leader with clarity of purpose who is committed to the greatness and goodness of America, and dead serious about keeping it free.