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Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines magician as "one who performs tricks of illusion and sleight of hand," and "one skilled in magic," a "sorcerer." That's an apt description for the parade of Democrats, leftists and peaceniks attacking the President on his efforts managing the war on terrorism. Millions of Americans have bought into the illusions created by President Bush's critics in their attempt to unseat him in the fall election. Let's look at it.
During the 9-11 Commission hearings, former Secretary of State and magician extraordinaire Madeleine Albright told the panel that the Clinton Administration did all they could think of to defeat al-Qaida and fight terrorism. Okay. You tell me what they did about the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. How about the 1996 bombing of a U.S. Air Force housing complex at the King Aziz Air Force Base near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia? What about the bombing of the USS Cole and the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in Africa? Not only did the Clinton administration do nothing decisive about these attacks that cost hundreds of U.S. casualties, they even refused Sudanese President Bashir's offer to arrest and hand Osama bin Laden over to the U.S.
That's the magician's gift; he creates the illusion that events that happened really didn't happen and those that didn't happen happened. Mesmerized by an illusion is the only way one can accept Madeleine Albright's claim that the Clinton administration did everything they could think of to fight terrorism and defeat al-Qaida.
Then there's magician Richard Clarke, former White House terrorism advisor, whose book Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror was released just in time for the 9-11 Commission hearings. During the hearings Clarke testified that the Clinton administration had "no higher priority" than destroying terrorism and for Bush it was "an important issue but not an urgent one." And to CBS correspondent Leslie Stahl Clarke said, "I find it outrageous that the President is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it."
Only sorcery can get you to buy into Clarke's statements. In 2002, Richard Clarke told Fox New's correspondent Jim Angle that the Bush administration decided to increase CIA resources fivefold to go after al-Qaida and their plans called for the rapid elimination of al-Qaida instead of simply a rollback. Was Clarke lying then or lying now about President's Bush's war on terrorism?
Another part of the Democrat's magic work is to convince the American people that Bush places a higher priority on the ouster of Saddam Hussein than going after al-Qaida. That's believable if you can be made to believe that our armed forces attacked Iraq before they attacked Afghanistan. But supposed Bush "had done something" like taking military action against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan prior to 9-11. I'm betting there would have been the same howls of protest from the UN, French and Germany and the Democrats that there were prior to the Iraq invasion.
Fighting terrorism as well as rogue dictators requires a policy of preemption. During the 1930's, there should have been a preemptive strike on Nazi Germany. Had Britain and France had the guts to do that, 60 million lives lost in World War II might have been spared. After World War II, when we held a monopoly on nuclear weapons, we should have told the USSR that if they started making nuclear weapons we'd bomb their facilities. We would have avoided Soviet adventurism and trillions of dollars fighting a cold war. Today, we should give axis-of-evil member North Korea notice to destroy their nuclear weapons or we'll do it for them.
You might ask, "Williams, are you a warmonger?" No, I'm not but here's the way I look at it. If you hate my guts and have designs to hurt me, and I see you building a cannon aimed at my house, I am not going to wait for you to finish construction.
Walter E. Williams
April 6, 2004
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