After Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush knew America could no longer tolerate the status quo, that only offense could guarantee security in the wake of this era's peril -- Islamic fascism. Courageously, boldly and at great political risk, Bush -- through Afghanistan and now Iraq -- ignited long-overdue and historic change in the Middle East. Muslims must ask whether they intend to allow extremist elements to act in the name of Islam. They must ask whether Bush -- or Arab tyranny -- causes their poverty, backwardness and lack of freedom.
Bush's critics call him a gunslinger, a moron, a unilateralist, an avenger. It will take time, but expect historians to someday call the Bush presidency transformative.
In the early '70s, a political cartoon in the Cartoon Portfolio from The Wall Street Journal showed a father -- dressed in a suit -- speaking to his son -- dressed in jeans, with long shaggy hair. The caption read, "I may not be able to explain my generation, but what a time you'll have explaining yours!" Someday, Bush's opponents may have to explain their vitriol, their constant denunciation of Bush in language more strident than used for Osama bin Laden.
Take Lancaster, Pa. Bush carried the county during November's election, but presidential contender John Kerry won in the city of Lancaster. In a section known as farmers' market, a baker hung a picture of President Bush. Democratic City Councilman Nelson Polite asked the baker to remove the picture. Why? Lancaster needs, according to the councilman, a "healing period." Councilman Polite said, "I just feel that since it was a close election and the city's so divided, that we should have a healing period." The 54-year-old baker seemed amused by Polite's threatened ordinance, "It's fun. People are coming up to me and supporting me. I've been getting letters and phone calls. Even the Democrats come to me and tell me, 'Don't take that picture down.'"
Hollywood leads the parade in failing to recognize the positive historic power of Bush's vision. Comedian Chevy Chase, hosting an awards ceremony for the liberal People for the American Way, blasted President Bush using F-bombs and other expletives. "President Bush is a dumb f---, and I'm no f---ing clown, but this guy, Bush, started a jihad," said the comedian. " . . . This guy in office is an uneducated, real lying schmuck. And we still couldn't beat him with a bore like Kerry."