This November, people will gather at the voting booths to choose the next American President. Third-party candidates notwithstanding, the contest will boil down to the incumbent Republican candidate, President George W. Bush, and the Democrat candidate, Senator John F. Kerry. (I am choosing to ignore the rumors that something sneaky will happen between now and November, putting Hillary Clinton into the race.) While I have already written why I won’t be voting for Senator Kerry, I haven’t formally written why I will be voting for President Bush. It’s about time I did.

Of the serious Republican candidates for the 2000 race, I was pleased to see George W. Bush get the nod to be the Republican candidate. Since his election, I have had occasion to see that he hasn’t been a perfect, ideal President, but I believe he has been the right President for our time. Besides, we can’t hold the Good hostage to the Perfect. While we strive for perfection, at times we must accept the merely good. The other option would be settling for something far inferior.

I have problems with several of President Bush’s propositions – the illegal aliens amnesty program, expanding Medicare with prescription drug benefits, signing the anti-free-speech Campaign Finance Reform Act, and other acts which promote commonly-held liberal ideas. I understand that President Bush may have done these things to take the issues away from the Democrats, but it still doesn’t make me happy to see liberal items made law. In this case, the Perfect would be the passing of conservative issues only, but the Good is seeing a few liberal ideas made law and realizing that President Bush is still President for the important things.

So what are the important things? President Bush has correctly identified that we are a nation at war. He has shown that he has the right idea about this war, Michael Moore’s silly “documentary” Fahrenheit 9/11 notwithstanding. In addition to realizing that we are at war, President Bush has correctly identified our enemies as evil. And yes, I absolutely mean it when I say that the fanatics who have declared war on the U.S. and the Western world are evil. What else would you call the action of specifically targeting noncombatant civilians, of beheading innocent people whose only “crime” is not being part of their particular brand of evil, of openly proclaiming their utter lack of concern for the lives of others? Don’t believe me? One of the leaders in the “religion of peace” recently said, “We don’t make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity.”

President Bush was certainly willing to bring the worthless United Nations into the conflict to free Iraq, but he was not willing to sacrifice the Good of freeing Iraq and reducing its threat against the United States on the altar of the Perfect of a unified world response. With 17 resolutions against Iraq, the UN Security Council had recognized the threat of Saddam Hussein and realized that he had ignored their wishes, but they were still unwilling to actually do something about it. President Bush and the other coalition nations were willing to stop Saddam’s threat.

So President Bush knows that you cannot negotiate with evil. Senator Kerry does not. President Bush is willing to call these attackers by their rightful title: evil. Senator Kerry is not. President Bush is willing to ask for international aid, but he is not willing to wait for the international leaders to get off their bribed butts before he does what is necessary to keep America safe. Senator Kerry wants international approval at any cost. President Bush has the vision and drive to free 50 million people from the tyrannical governments that oppressed them. Senator Kerry does not.

We are a nation at war, and this war must be fought and won. The War on Terror is the driving issue of this election, and while I often disagree with President Bush on some domestic issues, the War on Terror is more important than any of these. Once the War has been won, the domestic issues will once again be important. Wrangling about minor domestic issues when we are embroiled in a war for our nation’s survival makes as much sense as debating hair color while a murderer stands behind you with a drawn knife, chanting “Allahu akbar.”

The major news continues to be the photos depicting the acts of some American soldiers in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. I am disturbed by these images since I do not think these acts are necessary, nor do I think they are acceptable. Are they just the pranks of some bored GIs? Or were these acts ordered by their superiors to break the will of the prisoners? I do not know.

But I have some questions.

  • Has the military been investigating these acts? Yes, it most certainly has been. So why the need to publicize the investigation now? What is gained by it? It makes the U.S. look horrible — that is the only way I can answer.
  • Were these investigations classified? Yes, they were. Will anyone be charged with leaking this classified information? Probably not, since the investigations have since been declassified.
  • Is it a crime to leak the facts of a criminal investigation in progress? Yes, it is. Will anyone be charged with leaking this information? Again, probably not. To put this in context, if I were to leak information about the rape trial of Kobe Bryant, I would be quickly charged.

Some Democrats, smelling blood in the water, and a few stupid Republicans are making political hay from these photos to call for the resignation, firing, or impeachment of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. President Bush has stood firm behind the Secretary of Defense, even while Rumsfeld has taken full responsibility for these acts happening under his watch. Does his taking responsibility mean he should step down? I would say no. Why not? We need not look further than the example of past Attorney General Janet Reno. When she took “full responsibility” for the deaths of the men, women, and children at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, she didn’t step down. And she was much more personally involved with the making of that tragedy than Secretary Rumsfeld has been with the prisoners in Abu Ghraib.

But today, everything is different.

Today, an appalling video of the beheading of an American hostage in Iraq at the hands of terrorists was released. On this tape, the masked thugs made their threats, pronounced their hatred for all things American, and proceeded to cut Nick Berg’s head off.

Fox News published the following today:

“Senators … are in a virtual state of shock about the beheading,” said Sen. John Warner, R-Va., recalling earlier concerns that the prisoner abuse could lead to retaliation against Americans.

Gen. Ronald L. Burgess told Warner “there has been an increase” in threats in the days since the prisoner abuse became known through the publication of photographs.

Earlier this month President Bush went on Arab television and apologized for the abuse. If I were President Bush, I would call a press conference today and rescind that apology, based on today’s video from Iraq. And while I am feeling particularly bloodthirsty today, I would like each of the thugs on today’s video hunted down and dispatched in precisely the same fashion that they brought death to Nick Berg.

While I have been upset over the prison abuse photos, I refuse to be upset anymore. Let me see if I can put the acts of these GIs in perspective with the acts of the followers of the “religion of peace:”

Religion of Peace U.S.
Being dipped feet-first into acid. Americans smiling behind a pyramid of naked, hooded Iraqis.
Having hands and feet macheted off, then allowed to bleed to death. A group of clothed but bound prisoners.
Tossed off multi-story buildings while bound hand and foot. Hooded and naked prisoner handcuffed to cell bars.
Dead bodies mutilated, burned, dragged through the streets and hung. Hooded prisoner standing on a box with hands wired together, but not connected to anything.
Beheading Daniel Pearl. Naked Iraqis bound together.
State-run rape rooms. Naked Iraqi with panties on his head.
Beheading Nick Berg. Simulated sex acts.
Being tossed into a wood-chipper. Iraqi on a leash.
Slamming two airliners into the World Trade Center. A naked dogpile.

They don’t really compare, do they?