Thursday, October 21, 2004

Not Your Typical Republican

In this morning Seattle Times, James Na, someone who describes himself as not the "media-pushed stereotype of a Bush-supporter" has written a very eloquent column in support of the president's re-election. To Mr. Na, like millions of other Americans, the election comes down to a single issue - which candidate is better suited to lead the war on terror. In the the piece Mr. Na demonstrates an understanding of the dynamics of the war on terror that few on the left, and presumably no supporters of John Kerry, understand. It is a well written, well reasoned endorsment of the President. An excerpt:

What is more important than specific policy differences, however, is the issue of personal conviction and political character. After all, the war against terrorists and insurgents is not about numbers or equipment. More than anything else, it is a contest of wills.

What many of my fellow Americans seem to forget is that these terrorists, whether operating in Iraq or elsewhere, cannot defeat the United States the way, for example, the Allies systematically incapacitated the Germans' ability to wage war during World War II by destroying armies, obliterating factories and even bombing population centers.

No, the only way the terrorists can defeat the United States is by convincing us that we are defeated — by creating a perception of calamity in our minds that does not exist in reality.

In a war like this, waged with fear on one side and with freedom on the other, the most crucial trait for the leader of the free world is steadfastness — the ability to withstand temporary fluctuations in military situations and popular opinion to ensure long-term success.

In this regard, Bush has demonstrated the necessary character of perseverance and political courage. He went as far as to state, "So be it," even if the war were to cost him the second term. Bush has demonstrated clearly that he views the eventual victory in the war to be more important than his own political future.

How does Kerry fare on this account? Kerry has shifted his position on the war based on changing popular and editorial sentiments, calling it, at various times, necessary, unnecessary, what needed to be done and a colossal mistake. Even now, as he calls Iraq "wrong war, wrong place, wrong time," he claims, somehow, that he will be able to attract a recalcitrant France and Germany to come to our aid.

A president so afflicted with self-doubt and prevarication cannot win the war on terror. Instead of strengthening the conviction of Americans to persevere, such a president will fall victim to the shifting sentiments that inevitably occur with temporary reverses in war. A president who slavishly follows such momentary lapses of popular resolve creates a situation ideally suited for our adversary, who operates in the realm of fear and terror.


Mr. Na also runs the gunsandbutter blog.

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