: I didn’t care for George Bush and it was so obvious my kids could tell. I didn’t vote for him and likely won’t again. I disagree with him about most of his agenda.

I also was not sure about this war some months ago; I fretted about it.

But I have to say that Bush and his team executed this war brilliantly. I have no problem saying that this was a right war to fight for a right cause and they fought it well.

So I was impressed with Bush’s speech tonight on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln (more impressed, by the way, than Glenn Reynolds, who’s not as far right as many think but who’s surely to the right of me).

It was the speech of a leader. He did not gloat but he did show a firm and clear direction.

There will be controversy over some things he said, of course. Yes, he all but linked Iraq to 9.11 but, you know, it’s not a far stretch in the minds of most Americans and for a reason: Looney fanatics from over there who hate us are birds of a feather. And there was a time in my life when I would have found the idea of smarter bombs to be distasteful, but now that I see the necessity of a war like this, even as I mourn the lives that are lost, I’m thankful for those that are not.

I’m still a liberal. I’m still not a Bushy. But give the man his due: He won the war against Iraq; right won the war against wrong. Well done.

  • Catherine

    Jeff, you always qualify your responses with “I’m a liberal.” I am curious, if you weren’t there at the WTC on 9/11, do you think you would see things differently?

  • Scott Harris

    It was the speech of a great speech writer.

  • was there something that had to be said? but it definitely was a nice show. and if defeating mr hussein was his only goal, he has won the war. but i remember there was more than that, right?

  • “Im a liberal!”
    Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
    Liberals dont act as cheerleaders for a war of aggression that is costing 100s of billions of dollars. That kid with his arms blown off … you contributed to that with your pro-war whooping.
    I bet the Iraqis dont think the war went “brilliantly” either especially now that your trigger happy soldiers are shitting themselves and massacring unarmed civilians … see any of that happening in the British controlled areas?

  • DFE

    Yo British,
    ” now that your trigger happy soldiers are shitting themselves and massacring unarmed civilians … see any of that happening in the British controlled areas? ”
    Yeah. Do the words “Northern Ireland” ring a bell?

  • Non-British

    Perhaps it is because the Americans lack all of those years of experience at policing populations like the British have had. India, Middle East, Africa, Aboriginal Australians, and Native Americans. I seem to recall you have some initial problems in that regard as well.

  • Pyecraft

    But of course you are omitting recent successes carved from such experience. Falkland sheep farmers are no longer terrorising their flocks while the local seaweed harvest has peacefully reached an all-time high.
    Surely, a model for future invasions.

  • Soren Ryherd

    I know exactly where Jeff is coming from. I’m also a pro-war liberal, and that is not an oxymoron despite the attempts by British and others to define how liberals must act.
    Last night’s was the first Bush speech I watched from start to finish. I usually end up cringing so much I have to settle for reading the transcripts in the NYT. I thought he did a passable job on a well-written speech. I was heartened to see him re-commit to the work ahead in Afghanistan, and to define us as a country primarily seeking personal liberty for all. These are good things.
    That being said, I still have no plans to vote for the man for re-election. I still strongly disagree with close to everything his administration has done other than the war, including his budget (if that is the word), economic policies, loosening of environmental controls, repudiation of international treaties, and the list goes on.
    And can we please have a president who can give an inspirational speech? Just think of the impact Reagan could have had with the same text. And I *hated* Reagan.

  • Jack Tanner

    ‘massacring unarmed civilians … see any of that happening in the British controlled areas?’ What an interesting comment from someone posting as ‘British’. There was an event that happened long ago that set in to motion one of the greatest events in human history, an event that transformed human history. It happened right here in my home city, it’s called the Boston Massacre.You’re right though the moral position was to let Saddam keep running his death camp. What a mistake to free 24 million people.

  • I found it to be one of the more arrogant speeches he’s ever given. The whole spectacle on the aircraft carrier seemed like a scene from some Jerry Bruckheimer production. Yet another feather in the cap of this administration’s manipulative marketing of patriotism.
    And Jeff, when you continually preface statements with “I’m a liberal, but…” type phrases you sound like someone trying to convince themselves of it. Just say what you need to say, don’t worry about having to qualify it so others won’t think you’re less liberal or–heavens to betsy!–more moderate.

  • Soren Ryherd

    So, Jack, your point is that because the British forces opened fire on a crowd in 1770 that they are just as likely to do so today? Or was your point that opening fire on a crowd is a part of warfare? Or was it that the Boston Massacre and subsequent revolution makes americans morally superior to brits? Or was it that no one who’s country has ever committed a similar act is allowed to make comments on others?
    British’s comments are, in my opinion, stupid and show a complete lack of perspective on what is actually happening in Iraq, and I completely agree with you in responding to his comments. But your reply strikes me as just so much “Yeah, well so are you!”.
    And I only bothered to post this because I’m tired of people citing pre-geneva convention wars as viable parallels to prove a point. Admittedly, this has most recently been a tool of the anti-occupation crowd justifying Fedayeen tactics, but it is just as bad here.

  • Catherine

    Comments like British should be ignored. He hides behind a fake name without a link and doesn’t have an argument, just some silly statements.
    As far as the anti-occupation,anti-American crowd, they will never be satisfied. They have their target. It happens domestically too. There was a murder yesterday in NY. The murder was filmed on a security video. Undercover cops happened to be driving by (also on video – all on the news) and when they witnessed the murder, they gave chase, and when the gunman turned on them, they killed him with two bullets. The officer, 13 years on the job, has never used his weapon before. The reaction on the street? “Cops shot ___, he didn’t do anything! He was a good boy!” And they tried to start a riot. People like that or the people like British or even some Iraqi’s will never see things for what they are. They have their bad guy, period.
    Did anyone check out Vasili’s anti-American blog in German? I didn’t see many visiters.
    BTW Vasili, I was reading in the Economist about the same anti-terrorist measures being taken in Britain as the U.S., and some that were more strident. If you like, I will tell you the issue, etc. I expect a country like Germany where politicians can win in a good year with slogans for “quiet and order,” are doing the same.

  • oh, now my weblog is anti-american? that is because of the anti-war logo? c’mon catherine, i doubt you understand enough of what’s written there to judge it.
    if you could tell me about the economist’s article, you would do me a favour.

  • Jimmy

    OK, I can give the man his due: he has excellent speechwriters, he knows how to work a room, and the war has gone better than expected. However, I was surprised how many “bored” faces were in he crowd of soldiers; I guess they just want to get home, and who can blame them — 150 babies born while they were gone! The only thing I found troubling was his Iraq/9-11 conspiracy crap. This is old, untrue (as far as we know), and far too many American believe it’s true.

  • John

    Jeff’s comments are simply a reversal of the situation a decade ago, when conservatives like Rush Limbaugh were leading the cheering section for Al Gore in his debate against Ross Perot over NAFTA on “Larry King Live.” That certainly didn’t mean Limbaugh was going to become the AM radio cheering section for Clinton-Gore in 1996, but just because you’re opposed to items A, B and C on a presidental agenda doesn’t mean you have to relexively oppose item D on the agenda, especially if you think it’s vital for America’s future.
    I’m sure there are a lot of other liberals out there who feel the same way — Bush was right on the war, but wrong on other things, and they in all probability will vote for the Democratic nominee in 2004. Of course, that will probably depend on who the candidate is — someone like Howard Dean, based on his recent pronoucements, will probably give a lot of people cause to either hold their noses and vote for Bush, or sit out the election all together if Dean continues to disparage the terror threat to the U.S. and downplay the need for a strong military option.

  • Jack Tanner

    ‘So, Jack, your point is that because the British forces opened fire on a crowd in 1770 that they are just as likely to do so today? ‘
    No my point, assuming there is one, is that it was a really strange coincidence that someone would make that statement and post it as British when I’m also coincidentally reading ‘Rise to Revolution’ right now live and work in Boston and blah blah blah. I really don’t consider it a precursor to an impending middle eastern march to democratic revolution but it would be a hell of a great thing if it was.

  • Catherine

    The Economist I am referencing is from March 1, 2003. If you go to Economist.com/world/europe you should find it. If not, try the library. I have a hard copy subscription only.
    As far as your blog, I can understand quite a lot of it and perhaps more if your grammar was better. I live in a German neighborhood, work for a German company and can read it fairly well. Your arguments are as weak in German as they are in English, I am afraid. A friend thought you didn’t make much sense and perhaps “had been drinking.” I said I think he is just very young. No offense that was just an observation from your comments on the news stories and I am not trying to be hurtful. Really I am not. However, if you want to influence people rather than just throw mud, you have to be better informed and be able to form a coherent argument based on facts, not rumors. If you did, perhaps you would start getting traffic.
    If not, have fun with it I guess.

  • Catherine

    As far as my question to Jeff, I am asking the question seriously. I live in Manhattan and I have friends who were hard core liberals who have had a real change of heart after witnessing 9/11. Not that they would vote for Bush either, that’s not what I am asking. I am asking if, like my friends, (staunchly anti-war, now not, whatever) he is thinking and saying things he wouldn’t have imagined considering before.
    Jeff was there too and he always qualifies his remarks with “I am a liberal, but…” I was curious about if and how his views may, or may not have changed since 9/11. I don’t know him, and I am have never read anything he wrote until a few weeks ago, so I don’t know if he’s changed his views.
    Just curiosity folks. Really the only one that can answer is Jeff.

  • Catherine:
    Yes, 9.11 changed my views; I’ve written about this on this weblog as that change occurred. I was a ’60s pacifist but facing the evil of 9.11 — facing our generation’s Hitler — made me realize that there are times when one must use force to fight an evil force, to protect your own children and their future from the devastation it will bring. As one minister said, and I quoted him here, violence is still a sin but sometimes it is a necessary sin to fight that greater evil. Once having crossed that line, when one decides that force can be necessary, then one has to decide when it is necessary and I believe it was necessary in freeing the people of Iraq from Saddam.
    Does that answer your question?

  • I’m shocked that no one made the obvious Michael Dukakis reference.
    You can object to the theatrics but you can’t argue with the power of the image. I haven’t heard anyone say that he looked stupid, weak, clumsy, artificial, out of place, etc. He looked and acted like a real fighter pilot who also just happened to be the president.
    What other president in modern memory could have pulled this off?
    I’m sure it will not go unnoticed in the rest of the world either. Pirated copies of Independance Day have to be pretty easy to get . . .
    Oh, and I’m a Liberal, too!

  • Catherine

    Yup – Thanks taking the time to answer Jeff.

  • catherine,
    thanks for the information about the economist, i’m going to check that.
    i’m afraid you didn’t get the sense of my weblog. it’s not that type of journalism that jeff is trying to provide, it’s more of a diary. some short comments on daily news, some short comments on private items (which appear to be complete nonsens, as long as you don’t know me personally), some comments on things that crossed my way. it’s not about getting traffic, it’s simply about expressing what’s on my mind, about expressing my feelings – seldom about trying to discuss anything or influencing people, so you seldom find arguments. after all, it’s completely different approach.
    was die grammatik angeht: die ist korrekt, auch wenn sie manchmal etwas altmodisch erscheinen mag. das liegt wohl darin begr

  • btw: you still didn’t answer my question why my weblog is anti-american. since allegedly wrong grammar and childish contents can hardly be the reasons, it’s still my drawing (no war!), isn’t it?

  • ditariel

    Humans…always arrogant. They think their opinions matter.
    Well, “leftists” and “conservatives”, reality doesn’t give a ____ about your beliefs. Here’re several examples:
    1. The Saddam/PLO link is now set in stone.
    2. Yes it’s quite anti-American to oppose this specific war; lack of faith that your country can do something right is anti-patriotic.
    3. “Disarming Iraq”. LEAVE ALI ALONE. It is DISGUSTING that you use him for propaganda.
    4. Saddam had/has chemical weapons. HE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU WAR PROTESTORS.

  • ditariel

    Almost forgot:
    The most irritating thing are people telling us how we should think. If you’re liberal, this, conservative that…
    I have no patience for Republican/Democrat or conservative versus liberal crap. I’m an “exactist”. Every opinion of mine is carefully weighed according to my OWN principles. I can be sorted into neither.