Acute myopia

There have been quite a few revelations about Iran’s role in the Iraq fighting of late. Explosive devices specifically designed to defeat US defenses have been uncovered — but not before well over a hundred Americans were killed. 100 Austrian-made, Iranian-bought sniper rifles (out of a batch of 800) have been captured. And Iranian special forces soldiers have been captured in Iraq.

So, what is the anti-war movement’s response to these concerns?

They blame Bush.

Now, I don’t mean to single out the Boston Globe here. They’re just the most convenient source. I could easily find half a dozen other sources, just by cruising around the Usual Suspects.

(Hmm… can I back that up? Lemme see… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… yeah, that was easy.)

I have a little secret I want to share with these fine folks:

The War On Terror (or, better, The War With Militant Islamism) started long before George W. Bush became president. And it’s going to continue after he leaves office.

(It’s debatable just when the war started, but I prefer to peg it to 1979, when Iranian militants seized our embassy in Tehran and took dozens of Americans hostage for well over a year.

This is why I have such a hard time taking the anti-war movement too seriously. To them, it’s entirely a domestic, political issue. The defining element is not how many Americans have been killed or injured in the War, or what future threats we will be facing, but how this will affect political races. They are so focused on polls, on surveys, on elections, that they can’t see the bigger picture.

Let me spell it out for them, then: I don’t give a rat’s ass about George W. Bush. I voted for him twice, and don’t regret either one (especially considering the alternatives that the Democrats put forward). I’ve supported some of his positions, opposed a few, and overall think he’s done better than either Gore or Kerry would have. Personally, I think he’s an OK guy, but not the sort I think I’d want to pal around with.

But on the War On Terror, he’s done as good a job as I think he could have. Maybe a Roosevelt (either one), a Truman, a Lincoln, or a Washington might have done better, but they weren’t available. Hell, he’s done better than Reagan or Clinton ever did, just to cite the last two men to serve two full terms.

However, he has less than two years before he will leave office. By that point, I hope matters in Iraq will be better. I hope that Iran will be less of a threat than it is today. I hope that Syria will stop using its proxies in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories will stop instigating fights with Israel. I hope that Saudi Arabia will cut back on “exporting their troubles” by paying its troublemakers to go bother other countries. I hope that the Muslims committing genocide in Darfur will be checked.

Yes, I said “I hope.” I don’t have huge expectations. In two years, I hope there will be some progress in these areas, all fronts of the War On Terror.

I’m not a single-issue voter, but the War On Terror is the closest to one for me. Whenever I have a chance to cast a vote for president, senator, or representative, I take a good look at how that candidate wants to address the War.

And if that candidate spends all their wind on blaming Bush and gives short shrift (or none at all) to those who are actually trying to kill my fellow Americans, then they’ve just kissed my vote goodbye. I’ll write in Bugs Bunny before I’ll give them my vote.

This war is bigger than George W. Bush. The world will not suddenly love us if he were to disappear. They were trying to kill us long before he got elected, and they will still be trying to kill us (and anyone else they think might get in their way) long after he’s gone.

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