Washington, D.C. -- Last weekend at Fed Ex Field, just outside the nation's capital, the self-styled all-American rock-and-roller Bruce Springsteen played one of his marathon sessions to an enthusiastic crowd. They were approving -- that is, until "The Boss" interrupted his performance to complain about domestic politics and the war on terror.
Springsteen informed the crowd that people of all political stripes attend his concerts and everybody is welcome -- "with the exception of Dick Cheney." Springsteen has banned the vice president of the United States from his concerts -- not that Cheney would go anyway -- because he is part of an administration that Springsteen accuses of "playing with the truth during wartime." Springsteen is so upset that President George W. Bush is actually attacking the terrorists that he announced to the crowd, "It's time to impeach the president and replace him with the Big Man," referring to his longtime saxophonist Clarence Clemons.
Springsteen's tirade is part of the echo chamber that emanates from the presidential campaign trail in which Democratic candidates are using hateful and craven rhetoric to attack the president and his efforts to defend Americans from terrorism. Dick Gephardt calls the president a "miserable failure," and Al Sharpton calls him a "gang leader." They carp about "quagmire," whine about "winning the peace," and insist that America's fate in the war on terrorism should be turned over "to the U.N. and the international community."
Three days after Springsteen's tirade, Democrats on Capitol Hill were singing the same song. Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, a strong supporter of the war in Iraq, with California minority leader Nancy Pelosi at his side, now claims that he was duped into voting for the war and demands that "somebody has to be held responsible" for what he now perceives as a good idea gone bad.
Who should be held responsible -- Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, who has won two wars in two years, or Attorney General John Ashcroft, who, unlike Janet Reno, is actually taking steps to capture and incarcerate terrorists? The United States is engaged in a war on terrorism -- a war that started long before Sept. 11, 2001 -- and while it may not be pretty (no war is), President Bush and his team are actually fighting it, unlike his predecessor.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.