Sunday, May 16, 2004
Steyn's wisdom: I'm not someone who thinks that Bush has done a perfect job as president -- I just don't think that any of his detractors would do a better job. However, columnist Mark Steyn has a valid criticism:
The administration, in trying to see its way through both the phony crossfire and the real one, has been rattled by the fake war. Someone in the White House needs seriously to stiffen the Bush rhetoric. When the president talks about ''staying the course'' and ''bringing to justice'' the killers, he sounds like Bill Clinton, who pledged to stay the course in Somalia and bring to justice the terrorists, and did neither. Bush has to go back to speaking Rumsfeldian, not Powellite: He has to talk about winning total victory, hunting down the enemy and killing them.
He also needs to promise himself that he'll never again apologize to some Arab despot -- even relatively benign ones, like the king of Jordan -- for events in Iraq. If he feels the need to apologize, he should apologize to the American people for apologizing to the Arab world. This isn't just because what went on in Abu Ghraib is a picnic -- well, a Paris Hilton video picnic -- compared to what goes on every day in the prisons of our Arab ''allies.'' More important than that, the Bush apology buys into one of the most fetid props of the region's so-called stability -- ''pan-Arabism.'' If U.S. troops ''humiliated'' some Portuguese prisoners, the president wouldn't apologize to the king of Norway or the prime minister of Slovenia. So why, when U.S. troops humiliate Iraqi prisoners, would he apologize to Jordan's King Abdullah or Egypt's thug-for-life? ''Pan-Arabism'' is one reason why the region's a sewer. If Iraq succeeds, it will be by breaking with regional solidarity.
Go read the entire article.