In an interview with Brian Kilmeade on Fox & Friends today, former President George W. Bush did something he has seldom done since leaving office – comment on Iraq.
Kilmeade drew Bush’s attention to comments he made in July 2007 in which he warned against withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq too soon. Bush argued at the time that doing so would allow terrorists (namely al Qaeda) to establish a safe haven in Iraq which would lead to mass killings and result in the return of U.S. troops to Iraq. Substitute ISIS for al Qaeda and Bush’s warnings have unfortunately come to pass.
When asked how he knew this would come about, Bush replied, “I know the nature of the enemy.”
This sums up the difference between George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Now one can certainly Bush legitimately criticize Bush not only for his prosecution of the War in Iraq, but even if we should have gone in there in the first place. Hell, even I found myself posing that question.
Nevertheless, Bush understands human nature in a way that Obama never will. Obama honestly believes reaching out to the Muslim world, apologizing for America’s actions, withdrawing from Iraq and saying that America was not and never would be at war with Islam would change things. He really believed his words would slow the rise of the oceans. Well, as I wrote in one my Obama poems, “The Pyramids do not look at you with wonder”.
While it is fair to take Bush to task for calling Islam “a religion of peace”, he also acknowledged there is “evil” and “evil-doers” in the world. Bush would later use the term “Islamic fascists”. President Obama would never utilize such language. Come to think of it, the only time Obama used the term “war on terror” was to declare that it was over. Far from it.
Killing Osama bin Laden, while symbolic and significant to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11, wasn’t going to end the civilizational struggle against Islamic fascism. Now it is possible that we could triumph over Islamic fascism (provided that we once again have a President who is prepared to acknowledge such things). Should that comes to pass, evil will be put on retreat and perhaps even a lengthy retreat. But so long as their are humans there remains a capacity for evil, religious or otherwise.
It was coming to this understanding that as much as anything else made me declare myself a conservative in the months following September 11, 2001. When Bush said today he knew the nature of the enemy in Iraq it served as a reminder of what made me come to this understanding.