Public Forum

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From the editor: This section is dedicated to the Public Forum, where we publish opinions on public and social issues that affect the Malibu community and our readers at large.

President lauded for keeping America safe

Your approval ratings are the lowest they have ever been, Mr. President. You will soon leave office as one of the most unpopular, reviled leaders in our history. Every mainstream media report about the Iraq war, the state of America, and your leadership portrays as fact the war was misguided, America is in horrible condition and you have been a fool.

I think you have been a great president.

The most important job of a president is to defend his country. Sir, your success at keeping us safe has been phenomenal! You have comprehended and faced Islamic terrorism, a new enemy representing evil, determined to destroy western values. The majority of our citizens no longer grasp or accept this threat because you have been so outstanding at removing their fears. I thank you for that. These distant enemies, willing to destroy their own lives, innocents and the whole planet if necessary to answer to their lord, are not for the tame or pacifist.

Life presents difficult decisions every day to every person, contrasting two important values. You have been a prompt decision-maker. You have recurrently chosen the long-term value of American and world security over short-term comforts. You have cast aside concern for personal popularity to act always in the interest of country first. Presidents rarely have the courage to do that.

Since 9/11, when every plane, mall, port, train, stadium and church in American became a potential terrorist target, not a single attack has come our way! Those that suppose that America’s demonstration of moral and military strength only leads to greater tensions in the world are duping themselves at great risk. History has proven so, time and again. Peace relies on our strength, always. You have kept us strong.

In any other time, you would be hailed a hero. But this is a new age. You are the first president in the internet, text message and blogger epoch, when knee-jerk emotions dominate the media, the elite and Hollywood. Farsighted, logical, thought-out positions and long-term analysis are simply dismissed (except on talk radio).

Truth is, you were doomed to be unpopular the day you took office. I think you knew. After the 2000 election, when half the populace felt cheated, the inevitable response was to seize a justification to disrespect and criticize you. I wish your communications of our goals were better. Nonetheless, half our nation has been loath to listen to you anyway, let alone encourage you.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, where the success of freedom and liberty can have the largest impact on improving the world, you have focused our cause. In contrast to conquerors of earth eons past, you have acted toward the purpose of insuring security and peace in our land, and bringing a better way of life to a region of religious zeal where every-day horrors, suffering and injustices take the place of civil rights and liberty.

Had terrorist attacks continued in our cities, you would have been lambasted. Had the rising tensions in key Middle East centers boiled to mass bloodshed, you would have been faulted. Instead, with a perfect record of protecting us “at whatever cost,” once a slogan the nation rallied around, you face the worst popularity of all time. How appalling. At a time in history when 6 billion people interact in wildly different cultures and religions, ever-destructive means of attack at their ready, yet less than .001 percent of the earth’s peoples are killing each other. The strength of the United States is the most vital component of the peace the world enjoys.

Increasing tension in the Middle East is undeniable. The threat of terrorism is without question. There is your way and there is the opposite way to deal with these challenges. Your way has led to 80,000 Iraqi deaths, along with 4,000 Americans. Yet, Mr President, I believe a more pacifist tact could have meant (and may yet) millions of deaths in the Middle East and many thousands more among Americans. I know your detractors don’t believe such choices of horror confront us. Ignoring evil, dismissing friction, believing peace among divergent peoples just happens with a good heart, wishing for a life of bliss and utopia, are their preferred assessments.

It is hysterical out here, as you know. Groupthink is rampant. Your supporters have been vilified. But rest assured many of us feel quietly fortunate we have a had a man of principle in the White House, unconcerned with polls and popularity, unwavering in his goal of American defense, while his many detractors went about their lives, in safety and security, and enjoyed new technologies, recreations, freedoms and prosperity well beyond what past generations could have imagined.

Long from now, you will be lauded. History will ultimately summarize your presidency: “George W. Bush was steadfast and successful at defending America’s well-being and ideals.”

-By Rick Wallace