Rethinking Bush in Iraq

The president held to his principles and vetoed the $124 billion emergency war spending measure that would have required him to begin withdrawing troops as early as July. I had joined the chorus of criticism of this administration, but seeing the president’s defense of his action during his press conference has caused me to reconsider.

There is no question that the casualties are incalculable from this Iraq conflict and war against terror. We’re not talking only about thousands of dead bodies, but also Bush’s credibility, Dick Cheney’s abysmal approval rating, the loss of both chambers in Congress and the possibility of annihilation in the ’08 congressional and presidential elections. The president’s secretary of state, along with key aides, have suffered severe credibility loss over what is perceived as the president’s blindness and stubbornness.

It’s easy to believe that we know everything about this war based on rumor, publication of books and public declarations; realistically, however, we’ve been shown very little. That which we’ve seen is not enough to dismiss the threats against us and the true reason why this administration is unwavering with Iraq: It believes it’s a matter of existence and nonexistence, life and death.

Is it possible that there is more to this war than has been revealed to us through journalism? What has motivated this administration to press on in the face of the onslaught of the media, the backlash of the American populace and the lack of support from its former overseas allies? Perhaps we would do well to remember that history sometimes seems to have little regard for public opinion: War is never popular once it has started, but everyone loves to be victorious, and heroes are little more than victors, if anything more at all. Could it be that Bush is showing true leadership in confronting this insidious adversary in the face of extreme opposition to ensure a safer future for us all? Will his blindness and stubbornness one day be seen as the heroic attributes of vision and unshakable determination that saved this world from ultimate destruction? We can take polls, discuss and condemn and drop all these bombshells about why the war was wrong, but in the end only time will tell.