Thursday, May 31, 2007
Personal Asides: Frank Nofsinger Wins Nature Boy Trivia and Reality Confirms It Who Will Fred Thompson Hurt Most in the GOP Lineupor Will He be a Dud?...Bushs Legacy Can be Further Enhanced by Guess.
Steady, dependable Frank Nofsinger of Connecticut wins the Nature Boy trivia and a new contributor named Reality confirmed it. Reality added the name of the composer-lyricist, Eden Ahbez. The song was composed in 1948 by Ahbez whom probably never wrote another thing after that. The hit record was done by Nat (King) Cole. The words Frank supplied were a very strange, enchanted boy who wandered very far over land and sea. The profound truth supposedly conveyed in the song was to love and be loved in return. Congratulations, Frank! Reality didnt cheat with a search engine since he was very familiar with the 78 rpm record(as was I).
News that former Senator Fred Thompson will announce for president on July 4, prompts speculation. Is he the wonder boy whom so many conservatives are pining away for? Or will he be a dud? Who will he take votes away from among the list of candidates? My view is that he will not be the Great Answer conservatives are waiting for. I dont know why. Just dont think so. I will say he did a great U-Tube on Michael Moore and if his television stays to that mode like a fireside chat, he will strike sparks. But basically, isnt his persona repeated through his many films too gruff, too southern cracker? Or am I wrong. Reagan as an actor had that warm geniality a twinkling civility that made you like him. I tend to link Thompson the actor with Wilfred Brimley, the gruff guy we hired at Quaker to extol oatmeal. To demonstrate Im not a marketer, I never cared for that old cuss with his walrus mustache but Im told he sold a lot of product.
There are no two ways about it, George W. Bush is going to leave the presidency as one of the most unpopular presidents in history ranking with John Adams (with the Alien and Sedition acts) James Madison for plunging the nation into war without preparation and for incompetence in pursuing the War of 1812 which saw the White House and capitol burned by the British John Tyler who was a man literally without a party when he retired Herbert Hoover, blamed justly for mishandling the economy which worsened the Depression Harry Truman, blamed for presiding over an era of corruption but heralded just as unrealistically for supposedly supplying more thrust to the Cold War than he actually did.
When he leaves office, George W. Bush will be remembered initially for either being fooled by incompetent CIA intelligence that Iraq had weapons of mass destructionleading to the attack on Iraq and subsequent failure (after a successful invasion) to understand the complexities of pacification of the country. My own personal view is that Bush acted wisely and courageously in invading Afghanistan and Iraq by employing a defensible preemptive strategymy guess being that the war was wise from the standpoint of the entire Islamic world, showing that we are not faintheartedwhich did much to keep further violence from our shores. As for the occupation, there is no doubt that we misgauged the effort and that mistakes were made. I would have to grudgingly concede that a man I happened to have known earlier in his career, Don Rumsfeld, bears the blame for being niggardly in approving troop buildups.
But all the same, wars are untidy things to run as we learned from the Civil War and also although a number of us forget World War II. I well remember the disastrous tumble FDRs, Ikes and the whole European commands popularity took during the period of the Battle of the Bulge which began December 14, 1944 and which, before the Nazis were turned back, took 80,987 American casualties. Until history finally rings down the curtain and proves that Iraq was a mistake, I shall continue to believe that it was a wise exercise of judgment and shocked the Islamic world back on its heels which must continually happen in this global war we are waging.. The view that America is soft and cannot satisfactorily endure a war is the worst thing we have to face now given the Democrats insecurities about the War. I think its entirely possible that George W. Bush will be rehabilitated and will be viewed, before his ultimate death, as a courageous and far-sighted president. In essence, I think Bush will deservedly be called another Truman, notwithstanding that Trumans later fame was hyped by courtesan historians.
However, there is no doubt that Bush will descend into ignominy for a time. There is one thing he can do for his country that will not add immediate luster to his namebut which, since he is a man who has resolved to serve his country heedless of unpopularity, he should do. And that has to do with Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has steadfastly denied that he means to build a nuclear arsenalbut at the same time informs the world what he intends to do with it: an obvious contradiction. He intends to wipe Israel off the map. That is no cause to go to employ decisive actionbut the likelihood of his dominating the entire Middle East, controlling the oilfields of the region and the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf, would not mean using nuclear weapons just intimidation. Ahmadinejad has not hesitated to speculate about a world without America.
I personally believe Bushs 2002 State of the Union was the most powerful statement delivered by an American president in my lifetimestronger than any of his predecessors. Recall what he said:
Well be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the worlds most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the worlds most destructive weapons.
Where I disagree with Norman Podhoretz whom I greatly admire is not that Bush should refrain from allowing Iran to build a nuclear arsenal he should not but where I disagree with Podhoretz is that Bush should not take such a decisive step in order to save Israel. Im sorry but Robert Taft was right in that the principle aim of the foreign policy of the United States should be to preserve the peace and freedom of the United States which transcends Israel. I support Israel mightily from many standpoints but for too long have neo-conservatives like myself equated Israels well-being as equal to our own, thus falling into the trap of being accused of pursuing a dual loyalty and dual policy. Bush is no different than a succession of American presidents in that regard. Not a single American soldier should be asked to die for any nation but the United States, no matter how we value Israel. Not Britain, nor for western Europe.
Thus if George Bush were to decide prior to leaving office to take the action that will defrock Iran vowing not to leave office with Iran in possession of nuclear weaponson the pretext that the only thing worse than bombing Iran would be to allow Iran to build a nuclear bomb he would belong to the ages. And as I think I know the measure of this gallant man, I believe he will do the right thing for us and all civilization.