A Pre-9/11 Mindset

The world needs America’s strength and leadership. And America’s armed forces need better equipment, better training and better pay.

We will give our military the means to keep the peace, and we will give it one thing more: a commander-in-chief who respects our men and women in uniform and a commander-in-chief who earns their respect.

A generation shaped by Vietnam must remember the lessons of Vietnam: When America uses force in the world, the cause must be just, the goal must be clear, and the victory must be overwhelming.

I will work to reduce nuclear weapons and nuclear tension in the world, to turn these years of influence into decades of peace.

If you haven’t guessed already, this was part of Bush’s speech at the Republican National Convention way back in 2000. This was before 9/11, at the height of Pax Americana, when one of the biggest issues facing us was what to do with the surplus that the Clinton’s leadership got us.

One really can’t argue with any of those statements, either. Especially after 9/11, every one of those points became even more imperative. Do I even need to point out the obvious? As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.

It’s scary; I must have listened to the speech in 2000, but I should have been a lot more scared than I was.

Little more than a — little more than a decade ago, the Cold War thawed, and with the leadership of President’s Reagan and Bush, that wall came down.

But instead of seizing this moment, the Clinton-Gore administration has squandered it. We have seen a steady erosion of American power and an unsteady exercise of American influence.

[…]

This administration had its moment, they had their chance, they have not led. We will.

Neoconservatism and PNAC in a nutshell. Iraq, in a nutshell. Or, as I’m fond of calling a duck a duck, fascism, in a nutshell.

The rest of the speech just illustrates what a bald faced liar he is.

That background may lack the polish of Washington. Then again, I don’t have a lot of things that come with Washington. I don’t have enemies to fight. I have no stake in the bitter arguments of the last few years. I want to change the tone of Washington to one of civility and respect.

So when I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to not only uphold the laws of our land, I will swear to uphold the honor and dignity of the office to which I have been elected, so help me God.

I believe great decision are made with care, made with conviction, not made with polls.

I do not need to take your pulse before I know my own mind.

I do not reinvent myself at every turn. I am not running in borrowed clothes.

When I act, you will know my reasons. And when I speak, you will know my heart.

I believe in tolerance, not in spite of my faith, but because of it.

I believe in a God who calls us not to judge our neighbors but to love them.

I believe in grace because I’ve seen it, and peace because I’ve felt it, and forgiveness because I’ve needed it.

I believe true leadership is a process of addition, not an act of division.

I will not attack a part of this country because I want to lead the whole of it.

It’s interesting, these trips down memory lane, isn’t it?

I keep hoping I’m going to wake up and realize these last six years have just been some sort of terrible nightmare.

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