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Fwd: Bush, Reagan, Qaddafi, and Saddam

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  • Kipup2@aol.com
    I ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 13, 2003
      > R. Emmett Tyrrell
      > March 13, 2003
      > WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Last weekend, there was a series of newspaper
      > articles in all the major papers that struck me as odd. They
      > attempted to describe how the president is doing during these
      > vestibular days before war with Iraq. He is relaxed. He is the same
      > in public as in private. He is comfortable with his decisions.
      > Well, of course he is. George W. Bush is a very straightforward man.
      > He is among the most genuine men to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
      > since Warren Gamaliel Harding. Wait, wait, that is not meant as a
      > slight. Coolidge and Hoover were genuine. Truman was genuine. Ronald
      > Reagan was a genuine guy and perhaps even Bush I, though Bush I has
      > held so many positions in public life it would be difficult for him
      > not to adopt certain artifices. Bush II is, however, down home and
      > genuine. People who meet him usually recognize this. He does not take
      > credit for things he has not done, and some of the admirable things
      > that he does he does not boast about.
      > He has come to the conclusion that terrorists and "those who harbor
      > terrorists" are a threat to his fellow citizens. Like only one other
      > president in the three decades during which terrorism has claimed the
      > lives of four thousand Americans (about a thousand before 9-11), he
      > intends to treat terror as an act of war not a crime. That other
      > president was Ronald Reagan.
      > President Reagan sent American warplanes in April 1986 to bomb Col.
      > Qaddafi's compound after the Libyan dictator capped numerous
      > bellicose acts worldwide by sending agents to a West Berlin disco
      > frequented by American soldiers. There they set off a bomb that
      > killed two American soldiers and wounded some 200 innocent people,
      > among them 50 more American soldiers. Even in that surgical military
      > strike against a dictator who had been terrorizing the world, certain
      > European sophisticates were against us, most memorably Jacques
      > Chirac, then only the French prime minister of France.
      > Chirac denied French airspace to our strike force, causing its pilots
      > to fly 2,400 more miles to attack Qaddafi. Chirac's motives were the
      > same then as they are today: commerce, moral posturing and
      > procrastination. At the time in this column, I described Qaddafi's
      > network of terror as "a new abomination in the annals of war."
      > Expressing the disappointment that millions of Americans feel toward
      > now-President Chirac, I wondered if the French "would have allowed
      > our planes to fly over a more precisely designated rout, leapfrogging
      > such places as Ardennes, Suresnes, Rhone, the Lorraine Valley, St.
      > James, St. Laurent and Espinal. All contain military cemeteries where
      > American men lie face up, forever gazing into the skies of France.
      > Surely these men would not object if they were to see once more the
      > underbelly of an American bomber flying far from home to defend the
      > values of the West."
      > The lines struck a chord then. Pilots from the USS John F. Kennedy
      > wrote me to tell me that they posted the column on their bulletin
      > board. I reproduce part of it in hopes of stirring today's pilots as
      > they prepare to strike against an even more monstrous brute than
      > Qaddafi. The American military has served the cause of freedom as few
      > other military forces ever have.
      > I also reproduce these lines to remind us that the obduracy of
      > certain European powers is not new. Nor is their reliance on American
      > resolve. There is also another reason to recall our action against
      > Libya. It sent Qaddafi hunkering. The fiery brute lost his fire.
      > Reagan went on to stare down the Soviet Union, which gave up on the
      > Cold War a few years later. Peace unfortunately is not secured by
      > French procrastination. They might have learned that from their
      > decade of appeasement in the 1930s.
      > The resolute man in the White House is of course mounting a vastly
      > larger strike against Saddam today than President Reagan mounted
      > against Libya's tin pot colonel. Yet he has more of the world on his
      > side. He has most of Europe, the Arab emirates and Jordan, and Turkey
      > probably will be with us. Students of war as knowledgeable as
      > Britain's John Keegan estimate the fighting will last only a week or
      > so. First will come the most formidable aerial attack in history.
      > Then air-mobile assaults will be mounted with heavily armed
      > helicopters and elite troops from our airborne divisions and special-
      > ops units. Finally, our ground forces will roll against what is left
      > of the Iraqi army. Within a few days, Baghdad will be surrounded.
      > Saddam will be dead or under arrest.
      > The great questions that now cannot be answered are: Will the Western
      > alliance recover? Will terrorism subside? Will Iraq accept peace and
      > civilized government? My guess is that the answer to all three
      > questions is yes, but the work that follows the war will be as
      > arduous as the work that led up to it.
      > ©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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