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Remember, this was the sainted Ike, now celebrated as the great, wise, moderate statesman. Yet here he is rejecting, just as President George W. Bush does today, any specific date for removing forces from an increasingly unpopular war, and here he is insisting that retreat abroad means a more widespread surrender that must not be allowed to occur.
But wait: There’s more. Today, President Bush is widely mocked for his assertion that our freedom is in any way dependent on a commitment to freedom in as many places across the globe as possible, and for supposedly extravagant language toward that end. But here’s what the “moderate,” “realist” Eisenhower had to say 55 years ago today: “The vast majority of Americans of both political parties know that to keep their own nation free, they bear a majestic responsibility for freedom through all the world.” And then Ike closed his speech by repeating, twice, including as the very last four words of the oration, the idea of the foreign war that “this is a crusade.”
(I guess that is a politically incorrect thing to say today. Political correctness is a pity.)
Oh — and just before that closing sentence, Eisenhower, very Bush-like, said that “victory can come only with the gift of God’s help.”
Ike had the right ideas and ideals. Yes, those ideals must always be leavened by realism and backed by competent execution. One can legitimately argue about the degree of realism or competence that the Bush administration has shown. It would be a grave mistake, however, utterly alien to the American tradition, to reject the truth that freedom abroad makes us safer at home. Free nations tend not to attack other free nations.
And — to bring us full circle — anybody who wants to better appreciate freedom’s preciousness, and its cost, should find time to visit the National Mall and see the memorial to the Americans who fought so nobly for a noble cause on the Korean peninsula, half a world away.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online