Victor Davis Hanson, to whom congratulations are in order for winning the 2002 Eric Breindel award yesterday, writes in todays National Review Online of the Middle East:
Let us remake our relationships with the states of the region into something far different and far better from those existing before September 11 — and so thereby keep faith with the dead now by a simple pact: "If you are a terrorist and kill Americans — you will suffer our terrible and swift justice. If you are a state who aids terrorists — you will experience war and wreckage undreamed of for the wickedness you have wrought. And if you are a nation of the Middle East, whose people are not free, whose media are censored, and whose elections are fraudulent, then you also have proved to be an indirect agent and abettor of this new plague — and so you too shall soon have a rendezvous with the American people and their wrath."
Am I the only rightwinger/New Yorker/hawk/reasonable person to think it's time for us to not just say this but to do this? I didn't vote for G.W Bush-for reasons outside of ideology, simply because I have never voted for either of the major parties in Federal elections since it hasn't mattered in NY in my voting lifetime- but when September 11th happened I was glad he was in power, safe in the knowledge that a Republican would take care of us. Most liberals I know felt the same way. They were all thankful it wasn't Gore in the White House. We all knew Bush would not lob a few missiles at some empty buildings for show. He would not listen to the European elite as they immediately rose up to challenge any war that was coming. He would not stop until we felt safe again, until we were safe again.
It feels now though, with our 'friend' Prince Abdullah having visited Crawford, with Rumsfeld flying over to soothe Pakistani-Indian relations, with Bush sending warnings to Israel to ease up, that he has lost his focus. My friends in Europe drop their jaws when I say Bush isn't being hawkish enough, but really, what has he done to deserve any kind of military-esque personality to be fitted on him? Am I crazy to expect more from the man seen as a swaggering cowboy, someone not to be messed with, than just a one front war in Afghanistan where we have already installed a friendly government? Swagger G.W! I want to see you tough and unafraid. I want to see us flex the muscles we haven't used in so long. If Saddam needs to go, let's take him out. If Saudi needs to be reminded how to be our friend, how to play nicely with us, then let's remind them. If Arafat can't get his own people to stop blowing up 8 year olds, let's let Israel do it for him. The truth is, and we all know it, that if we weren't so humane, if we weren't so decent, there would be no Iraq, Saudi, or any other country we wanted there not to be. If it came down to a wild west showdown, it would be us left standing and them lying face down in the dust. As we are reminded constantly by the lefty worldwide press we are massive and powerful but it seems to me we are afraid to use any of that might. I want us to do what we have to to protect the homeland and it's citizens. I want to see George W. Bush be the badass I know he can be.