Out Standing in His Field

It's so peaceful at the ranch that we plumb forgot Captive Nations Week

Bush,-team-ranch-8-11-05-David Bohrer.jpg

David Bohrer/White House

In the middle of nowhere with the POTUS and his posse

What's a feller to do when he's on vacation and he wants to leave the ranch house but a dead soldier's mom has done cut him off at the pass?

If you're George W. Bush's handlers, you schedule a press conference out of left field.

No Cindy Sheehan around to remind him of dead soldiers. Only the Bush team of toy soldiers (see photo).

With them lined up behind him at his field of schemes (apologies to colleague Neil deMause), the president stepped up to the mike on August 11. Let's listen in:

    … I also have heard the voices of those saying, pull out now, and I've thought about their cry, and their sincere desire to reduce the loss of life by pulling our troops out. I just strongly disagree. Pulling the troops out would send a terrible signal to the enemy. Immediate withdrawal would say to the Zarqawis of the world, and the terrorists of the world, and the bombers who take innocent life around the world, you know, the United States is weak; and all we've got to do is intimidate and they'll leave.

No, Bush, we tried to intimidate and that has made Iraq a center for terrorists. He continued:

    Pulling troops out prematurely will betray the Iraqis. Our mission in Iraq, as I said earlier, is to fight the terrorists, is to train the Iraqis. And we're making progress training the Iraqis. Oh, I know it's hard for some Americans to see that progress, but we are making progress.

Yes, it's hard to see progress, but we're pretty blind these days. For example, Captive Nations Week was July 17-23, and we plumb forgot about it.

Just about everyone but longtime GOP operative Lee Edwards. His essay on July 20—looks as if even Edwards almost forgot about it—reminds us:

    While the Soviet Empire is no more, there still are captive nations such as China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba, whose people live—but not by their choice—under communism. Captive Nations Week affords an opportunity for us to reassert our determination to keep alive the hopes of freedom of all the captive peoples.

There's probably a reason he didn't mention the captives in the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Guantánamo Bay, Uzbekistan, and elsewhere. Edwards's title at the Heritage Foundation is the Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought.

I didn't know there was one. But Edwards deserves the title, being the author of To Preserve and Protect: The Life of Edwin Meese III.


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