Democrats and media pundits are complaining that President Bush â€œpoliticizedâ€ 9-11 in his address to the nation last night. Obviously, it was entirely appropriate for him to memorialize and honor the victims and heroes of that tragic day. But is it not also appropriate for the President to speak about the war on terrorism and where our country is in that fight five years hence?My response to the detractors who are complaining that the President politicized the speech is this. How could it have been any other way? Because the Democrats have opposed nearly every thing the President has said or done in the war on terror, the issue is already politicized. Anytime he speaks about his administrationâ€™s war on terror, itâ€™s a political issue because the Democrats have already decided to oppose his efforts.
Probably the most significant difference between President Bush and his Democrat detractors has to do with a new foreign policy approach that he announced in 2001 right after 9-11. In response to the 9-11 attacks, the President told the nation that the U.S. would make no distinction between terrorists and the states that support them. The President reiterated that policy last night in his speech.
The Bush administrationâ€™s fight against terror over the last five years has been nothing less than the consistent execution of this doctrine. When the U.S. went into Afghanastan and deposed the Taliban, the President was taking the fight directly to the terrorist group, Al Qaeda. When the U.S. invaded Iraq, the President was targeting a state sponsor of terror.
The real problem that the Democrats have is not with what the President has said in one speech. They have a problem with what he has done. They donâ€™t want to take the fight to the terrorists like the President does, and they donâ€™t want to take the fight to the states that support them like the President does.
Regardless of what his opponents say, President Bush has not been unclear in his intentions to execute this policy, nor has he been slack in implementing it. I for one am thankful for a leader who sticks to his guns even when partisan Democrats want to lay them down.