Wednesday, June 29


The "Houston Chronicle's" Washington D.C.-based political columnist Cragg Hines claims the central purpose of President Bush's address to the nation last night from Fort Bragg on the war in Iraq was to rally the Republican Party's conservative base.

Bush's setting may have been Fort Bragg, the big, war-ready base in North Carolina, and Bush's audience may have been assembled troops, but the president's target, however, as it has been throughout much of his tenure, was his political base, which he needs to rally. If Bush bought his policy some more time with the public at large, all the better for his purposes. But the main aim of the speech was to address recent eruptions from conservatives.
Hines' liberal bent is the catalyst for his disengenuous claim, as are the pontifications of the ranter incarnate, James Carville.

A better, more forthright statement would have been that Bush hadn't a chance in hell, no matter how eloquent, on point, and truthful as to the facts, of dislodging the hardwired, anti-war bias of liberal Democrats in this country. The president's address was to the nation and to its military, but only the military and Bush's conservative base seem to ever get it -- that terrorism must be defeated and that you cannot do much better than to have the enemy coming to you in droves on foreign soil.

True, there were no WMDs in Iraq. The original justification for invading Iraq was ill-founded and based on egregiously faulty intelligence. Better now, however, as a response to the human slaughter that was "9/11," is the fact that Islamic terrorists are being drawn to Iraq like moths to a flame and that if we only stay the course we can kill a good many of them and kill or capture their leaders. Better to deal with insurgents and car bombs over there than terrorist-spawned murder and mayhem in our own city streets.