Bush: War Without Angst


Bush has a hard sell on his hands: War without Angst. The President is on the difficult ground of FUD politics.


Speech at Ft. Bragg

In his speech last night from Fort Bragg, the President was the confident cowboy leading us as The War Time President. As it should be; as it must be.

Nevertheless, Bush is using a sales tactic that works with products . . . but is much more difficult with politics. IBM trained a generation of sales reps to eliminate FUD’s: “fear, uncertainty and doubt.” In the private sector, in business, this communication works.

Less so in the public sector. Selling war in America requires Angst, Worry, Concern, Reluctance, Victimhood.

As Victor Davis Hanson reminds us in his outstanding article The Politics of American War, there’s a huge gulf between the politics of war for liberal and conservative presidents:


To end the dictatorial and genocidal plans of Slobodan Milosevic, liberal Bill Clinton was willing to bomb downtown Belgrade, commit American forces to a major campaign without U.S. Senate approval and bypass the United Nations altogether. Few accused him of fighting an illegal war, contravening U.N. protocols, or cowardly dropping bombs on civilians. In all these cases, public opposition was pretty much muted, despite the horrendous casualties involved in some of these past conflicts.

George W. Bush, as a conservative President, however, will never be given such leeway. Why not? Because he doesn’t bite his lip:

. . .it is very difficult in general for a conservative to wage war, because the natural suspicion arises that his tragic view of human nature and his belief in the occasional utility of force, makes him seem to enjoy the enterprise far more than a lip-biting progressive, who may in fact order far more destruction.

So that’s what the President was up against last night. He is a President, who is, apparently, uniquely suited by temperament for eliminating FUD and waging a War Without Angst. Many of us think resolute words like these from his speech last night are his great strength:

. . .we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we’ll fight them there, we’ll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won. (Applause.)

America has done difficult work before. From our desperate fight for independence to the darkest days of a Civil War, to the hard-fought battles against tyranny in the 20th century, there were many chances to lose our heart, our nerve, or our way. But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom entrusted to us in a special way, and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending.

Audacity. Emphasis mine.

The proper response when confronting an enemy’s audacity is not retreat. And I, for one, am glad he didn’t bite his lip as he stated that human freedom is entrusted to us in a special way.

We must meet audacity with audacity. But ours is a Reasoned Audacity.


Read fearless patriots on Open Post at Mudville Gazette.

Outside The Beltway always knows what’s up in Your Nation’s Capital at Traffic Jam

Thank you to the lovely ladies BlogWhoring over Shakespeare’s Sister

e-Claire has a terrific overview of The Speech.


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1 Response

  1. Kerry Not The Hero Wannabe says:

    The issues surrounding the Kosovo situation has far more parallels with Iraq that are excused. Clinton used “sexed up” British intelligence. He claimed that there were 100,000 dead, according to the Brits. Even Blair had to correct this since all that was claimed was 100,000 missing (ever hear of refugees?). Iraq had the claim of 300,000 dead. Somehow 100,000 missing is evidence of genocide that needs intervention, but 300,000 dead does not. The Secretary General of the UN, Butros Butros-Gauley(sp?) condemned the US action. Anyone notice that there were fewer coalition countries for that action than there were for Iraq? And yet, the left never called it “unilateral”

    Further, Clinton lied to the U.S. and the world and was responsible for the deliberate targeting of civilians. The Chinese embassy was bombed. Mistake? No. Do a search on “chinese embassy bombing” and look at the info that comes up. There is an interesting report by FAIR (for once getting something right). FAIR shows that the whole story wasn’t carried by the American Press. The BBC dug up the fact that the site was deliberately targeted by NATO and that the selection of the target was requested by the White House. Clinton had our ambassador convey the information to the Chinese that it was a mistaken strike because the previous occupants of the building were legitmate targets and the targeting error resulted because old maps were used. Read the Chinese response of outrage when they point out that no building previously existed on that site. Any “old” map would have shown an empty lot. Later explanation was that the embassy was broadcasting intel. Funny, ALL the embassies were broadcasting intel. We just targetted Chinese civilians on Chinese soil. An act of war. The later explanation shows that the President lied to America and the world. The left seemed to excuse it. The reason the American press ignored it? They claimed that the sourcing was inadequate. Wow, two and three star generals in the NATO headquarters and a White House source were just not good enough. And yet, the American press figures a partisan with a nuthouse rep is good enough to be the source of fake documents. Rather should have led the charge for those generals and White House source saying that they were real but the story was true. What the heck am I saying? Rather wouldn’t do that!

    Let’s not forget that train loaded with civilians that was targeted. Somehow the left excused that one. They somehow understood the nature of the mistake on that one, but they can not allow that same lattitude when civilians are hit when military assets are targeted.

    In any case, the parallels between Kosovo and Iraq are striking with the greater weight for going into either country rests on the side of going into Iraq. Isn’t it funny that the left can’t see those parallels but the can somehow come up with the idea that Guantanamo is equivelant to NAZI death camps?