Reasons for optimism

Posted: Sep 26, 2001 12:00 AM
This column will attempt to answer an e-mail from a mother of three who requested my ideas for a speech she is giving about causes for optimism in view of recent events. Dear Kathy: Thanks for your question. You are correct: I am generally optimistic, but, like everyone, was quite shaken by the terrorist attack. Without diminishing the devastating losses of life, property and domestic tranquility, I do believe we have many reasons for hope. I agree with President Bush that the terrorists miscalculated America's strength, spirit, resilience and resolve. I concur with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani that America will be greater than ever before. Please consider the following: The attacks have ignited an explosive wave of American patriotism, which has been dormant for far too long. There is a renewed enthusiasm for freedom and the constitutional principles underpinning it. Americans are uniting as Americans and experiencing a spiritual renewal. As a result, the much maligned baby-boomer generation may finally be discovering a noble purpose for itself. Though we can never recapture our losses, we are redoubling our commitment to make society safer, while jealously guarding our liberties in the process. The United States has the requisite military might and resolve to respond decisively to the continuing worldwide terrorist threat. Our special forces, our regular forces and our arsenal of weapons are without parallel. The fundamentals of America's economy are still strong, and the market already appears to be rebounding. Regardless, it will eventually. As our humble, but wise, president commandeers our ship of state, he seeks God's counsel, especially during these trying times. He understands that freedom is the primary issue, and he is approaching this calmly and methodically, being motivated by our national security rather than his poll ratings. The president has surrounded himself with the wisest foreign policy advisers available. He is using this tragedy as an opportunity to launch a holistic counterattack on terrorism, involving financial, intelligence, diplomatic and military strategies. He is exploding the myth that terrorists can act in a vacuum without support from sponsoring nations. He is committed to taking action against those nations, without which our war on terrorism would be in vain. This president is perfect for the times. He has a genuine heart for all nations and all peoples. He has risen to this singular purpose of his presidency. He is uniquely situated to form alliances and build an international coalition that will survive attempts by Osama bin Laden to drive a wedge between America and the entire Muslim world. For example, over the heckling of critics, he cultivated a personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which has already born fruit, with Russia sharing its intelligence and offering its territory to be used as a staging area. Reportedly, President Bush will first attack bin Laden, his terrorist organization al-Qaida and the Taliban, before taking actions against other sponsoring states. Through this judicious course of action he will reduce the likelihood that marginal Arab nations will heed bin Laden's call to a holy war. President Bush is prudently refusing to relinquish control of the operation to the anti-American United Nations. President Bush has the highest approval rating in the history of presidential polls. Right now, this is irrelevant for partisan political purposes, but shows that the public trusts him. This will empower him to resist media pressure to compromise classified national security information and make this a televised war. The Taliban's determined opponents, the Northern Alliance, stand poised to assist us in locating and pursuing bin Laden and his forces in the treacherous Afghanistan terrain. This tragedy has reminded America of the indispensability of a strong national defense, including the necessity of a robust anti-missile program. For the first time in ages, partisanship has truly been subordinated to our larger national cause. This conservative is proud of the attitude, statements and activities of the Democratic leadership and its party's rank and file. We are all Americans first. The many heroes of Flight 93, the actions of Barbara Olson and others on the other doomed flights, and the selfless acts of New York firemen, policemen, other rescue workers and the medical community make me proud to be an American. God bless America.