Years ago, smarmy journalists asked Bush about public opinion fading on the war effort (take your pick, Afghanistan or Iraq, it doesn’t matter), and his response was telling. In short, he tactfully told them to shove it because a leader’s job is to do the hard right, even if doing the easy wrong is in his political best interest. And that is why I will always have a soft spot in my heart for ‘W’.
Years ago I went down to Fort Benning, Georgia to catch up with an old Army buddy, and the infantry guys I talked to at the bar loved him. The reason: besides his obvious love for the troops, when it came to safeguarding the country there was no shaking him. Besides my own regret and the second-guessing that comes from leaving the service before 9/11, I will also always carry a certain sadness that I didn’t get to serve under a Commander-in-Chief like Bush.
But I digress… The CNN poll:
Support for the war in Afghanistan has fallen to an all-time low with the majority of Americans saying the U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan before the 2014 deadline set by the Obama administration, according to a new poll.
The CNN/ORC International survey released Friday indicated only 25% of Americans favored the war in the Asian country. A majority of Republicans voiced opposition to it, for the first time since the war began in 2001.
The responsibility of our elected officials is to articulate our war efforts in a way that resonates with the American people and prepares them for costs of war. It is their job to articulate exactly who are enemy is and what it will take to defeat him. They have failed, just as they have failed with the coming debt bomb and just about every other matter of import to the nation.
If we return to the pre-9/11 mindset in order to combat Islamic terrorism, then we will have 9/11-type results. It’s really that simple. The delivery vehicle for their terrorism may very well be different, but the body count and subsequent effect on the economy will be the same or worse.
Many Republicans wobbled on the war effort under George Bush, and it was his sheer force of will that kept many of them in line. In his absence the weak-kneed losers have been freed to go soft. Our elected officials give floor speeches on NFL football bounty hunter controversies while $16 trillion in debt works its way up, up, up. Honest debates on our nation’s security get shelved for side-show antics involving hooded sweatshirts. Our nation is wandering in a sh*t storm of our own making, and there doesn’t seem to be a stable of leaders who can help guide us out.
Prepare yourself, because things are going to get messy.