Wednesday, October 24, 2007


The overwhelming reason why, in November 2004, I voted Republican for the first time in a presidential election, was the belief that George Bush was more likely than John Kerry to understand the danger posed by Iran. I hoped that, through his leadership, the United States would use every means necessary to either destroy Iran's nuclear weapons program or topple the Islamic regime before it acquired those weapons.

The past three years have demonstrated that being able to recognize the face of evil is not sufficient in the war against our enemies. Good judgment, clear thinking, steadiness of purpose, and effective communication are equally vital to the cause. Bush's unwillingness to grapple with diverse viewpoints and weigh their merits, to understand and explain to the nation the full price that victory required, and to recognize incompetence and quickly root it out, have branded him unworthy of the challenge that lies ahead.

Although the ringleader of incompetence, Donald Rumsfeld, is now well into retirement, his replacement, former CIA director Robert Gates, is a reminder of the adage "Be careful of what you pray for." Gates is a friend and admirer of some of Israel's most vicious critics, including Jimmy Carter, James Baker, and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Three years ago, he co-chaired a task force with Brzezinski on U.S. policy in Iran. Their advice: Talk to the Mullahs while pressuring Israel into holding its fire on Iran.

Has the warrior Bush had his spine softened by Condi Rice? Have his claws been trimmed by Robert Gates? Is he now planning on letting tiny Israel do the heavy lifting?

Iran, a much deadlier enemy than Iraq, is striving feverishly to acquire the means to rain destruction on the entire Middle East and Europe. And its delusional leader is convinced he can get away with it, by arranging with a third party to place his weapons of choice in the hands of a quisling neighbor.

The President's failings in Iraq have given a noble cause an evil name, that could leave the United States too paralyzed to take the lead in future confrontations with the enemies of civilization.

The great damage that Jimmy Carter inflicted upon the cause of freedom, through weakness, George Bush has inflicted through the application of force without intelligent design. And, in Jerusalem, as America closes its eyes, I tremble at the thought that Israel, with a small army and unsteady leaders, is taking on this challenge, alone among humanity.