Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Feb. 14, 2002 / 3 Adar 5762

David Horowitz

David Horowitz
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Bill Clinton's State of the World -- FEW PEOPLE outside the readers of and an obscure New Zealand paper that carried the text of his remarks will be aware that on the night President Bush delivered his State of the Union address, Bill Clinton gave a speech to Berkeley leftists - including the chancellor of the university and the dean of the school of journalism - about the state of the world. Salon's reporter captured the political spirit of the moment: "Watching the actual State of the Union speech Tuesday night, it was tempting to propose a drinking game that would involve downing a shot every time President Bush said the word 'evil' - at least five times. But is post-irony America ready for presidential drinking games? Berkeley is. Berkeley is ready for President Bush drinking games…; Berkeley is ready to re-elect President Clinton."

Salon's reporter, Joan Walsh, also provided her own instructive spin on the love-fest. "It was hard not to dwell on the difference between the scripted and simplistic Bush - who deserves credit for ably prosecuting the war, but can't adequately explain the global forces that led to it - and the intelligent and spontaneous Clinton, with his global vision as well as his scary grasp of arcane details."

It seems that even after the most devastating terrorist attack in human history, and notwithstanding four months in which to assimilate the enormous vulnerability of a society as simultaneously complex and open as ours, and a similar interval in which to appreciate a wartime leader who has not made a false step since September 11 and has thereby saved thousands and made safer millions of lives, some people still lack the elemental sense of self-preservation to admit they were wrong about George W. Bush, and - equally telling - about his predecessor.

The fact that, as President, Bill Clinton had a scary grasp of detail only magnifies his reckless endangerment of all of our lives prior to September 11. Clinton's derelictions as commander-in-chief have already been documented by Andrew Sullivan, Joe Klein, Byron York, the NY Times, and the Washington Post. But no one has pointed a more damning finger at the feckless ex-president than his closest political advisor and strategist, Dick Morris. In a Wall Street Journal column saliently titled "While Clinton Fiddled," Morris observed that al-Qaeda's war on America began in the first year of the Clinton Administration, while the man whose primary responsibility was the safety of American citizens had his mind fixed on other things.

"After the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, President Clinton never visited the site and only alluded to it once….Visiting New Jersey shortly after the attack, he urged Americans not to "overreact." After the 1993 bombing - the first attack by foreign terrorists on U.S. soil - Mr. Clinton never met privately with the head of the CIA for the ensuing two years! Because of this lack of presidential focus, the investigation proceeded so slowly that we did not know of Osama bin Laden's involvement until 1996. As a result, the U.S. turned down Sudan's offer to give us the terrorist mastermind on a silver platter because we said that we lacked evidence on which to hold him."

As the Clinton era proceeded, matters got steadily worse: "As the elections of 1996 loomed, a sense of crisis pervaded America. We seemed under attack from all directions by terrorists, foreign and domestic. A bomb exploded amid the Summer Olympic Games. TWA flight 800 vaporized over the Atlantic… Hundreds of American soldiers died as a bomb ripped through their barracks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. … At the White House, we held hurried meetings as we watched with worry the growth of terrorism…." But, as Morris documents, Clinton did nothing. Instead, the President acquiesced as his national security adviser and other White House leftists shot down proposals to increase airport security because it would involve "racial profiling" and to cut off funds to al-Qaeda networks (for the same reason) and to scuttle other security measures.

Other presidential advisers reacted more responsibly to the terrorist threat, but less politically obtuse, their good intentions were thwarted by the president's disinterest: "Some of the president's staff and his consultants pressed the case for aggressive action to contain terror at home and attack it abroad. But at the center of the storm, Bill Clinton sat with an unusual imperturbability. Even as he fretted about whether to sign the welfare reform act and brooded about the FBI file, Paula Jones and Whitewater scandals, he seemed curiously uninvolved in the battle against terror."

In this scathing indictment, Morris doesn't even bother to broach Clinton's wretched affair with a 22-year old intern named Monica Lewinsky, which paralyzed the Oval Office and much of the government for 18 months, allowing al-Qaeda to blow up two of our embassies without effective response. Clinton's only firmly held purpose during this crucial pre-September 11th window was to lie about his marital deceit, even though it meant compromising his entire cabinet, polarizing Congress, and corrupting the federal judiciary as the nation's chief law enforcement officer perjured himself before a grand jury. Even as Bill Clinton took the steps that crippled his presidency, he knew - as the rest of us did not - that al-Qaeda was in full war mode and that his lies made it impossible for him to wage the necessary war against terrorists even if his scarily detailed mind had so much as a thought to do so.

What George Bush has shown in the short time he has occupied the Oval office is the importance to the presidency of a man of character and purpose. It's the (global) vision thing. While the anti-Bush chorus in Berkeley remains as confused and destructive as ever, elsewhere in the nation others are waking up. Among the signs of a people coming to its senses are the sustained record approval ratings that reflect this President's leadership in the war. There are also observations like this one, which appeared after the State of the Union speech in a column in Brown University's Daily Herald under the by-line, Joshua Skolnick:

"Watching the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, I experienced a fundamental change in the way I view our country….Like an old relationship that was shallow and based on sex, Clinton [feels] like nothing compared to what we have now. …. If Clinton was a womanizer (the 'if' is probably unnecessary) then I am a woman. He got me…. He took me out to dinner, paid for everything, and told me that I had beautiful eyes. I was a fool not to notice the mischief going on beneath the table. We scoffed at critics such as John McCain, who rightly stated that Clinton conducted a 'photo-op foreign policy.' We collectively stared into his eyes while terrorist camps were being armed in Afghanistan…..Our foolishness, in part, led to our vulnerability on September 11th….We woke up with our clothes off. In walked George W. Bush. On Tuesday night, he helped us put our clothes back on. He made us realize that we were more than our GDP, more than the latest tabloid. He gave us the shocking realization that this country is built on actual values. The speech on Tuesday night was like a cool glass of water the morning after a frat party. You can't believe you went home with that girl, can't believe you drank so much, but you're glad to finally be back home."

Two sides of the country, two views of the world; one now clearly of the past; the other, the future. A February Tarrance Group poll reveals that 65% of American college students are now "glad that George Bush is president." Only 18% wish otherwise. The lesson? A strong leader with a moral vision can bring out the better angels of our nature.

Thank you, Mr. President.

JWR contributor David Horowitz is editor of Front Page Magazine and the author of several books, including, The Art of Political War and Other Radical Pursuits, Hating Whitey, Art of Political War, Radical Son : A Generational Odyssey . Comment on this article by clicking here.


01/17/02: Why Israel Is The Victim And The Arabs Are The Indefensible Aggressors In the Middle East
10/01/01: I know a thing or two about college protest --- and this time the students are dead wrong
09/06/01: Pardoned, but unforgiving
08/07/01: Social Security Reactionaries and Reformers
07/24/01: White, Blind, and Proud
07/11/01: Progressive Crime Wave
06/26/01: Issues that dare not speak their name
06/12/01: The 20th Anniversary of an American Killing Fields
05/23/01: The Triumph of 'Multicultural' Thugs
05/08/01: How Leftists Play the Race Card Against Conservatives – And Increase the Flow of Drugs to the Inner City At the Same Time
03/13/01: Provocative, and proud of it
03/06/01: Dubya's Tax Plan: Don't Feed the Beast
02/21/01: Lazy daze
02/13/01: V-day
02/05/01: You gotta have faith
01/23/01: The Democrat inquisition
01/09/01: Perfect mirror-images of what libs profess to fear
12/12/00: Party without a conscience
12/05/00: Al Gore has poisoned the body politic --- for generations to come
11/14/00: Al Gore is not fit
10/31/00: Party of fear, politics of hate
10/16/00: Dems are lucky to have Gore
09/19/00: A Miracle the Press Will Not Report
09/14/00: It’s the Character, Stupid!: Further Thoughts On “Why Gore Will Lose”
09/06/00: The Death of the Civil Rights Movement
08/22/00: Back to the Future
08/09/00: Bush will win
07/25/00: Conason Unleashed
07/12/00: Our nation's heritage is under attack in our classrooms, so why doesn't anybody care?
07/03/00: Hillary and "The Third Way": How America's First Lady of the Left Has Bamboozled Liberals and Conservatives Alike
06/27/00: AlGore's Missile-Defense Dodge
06/20/00: In the Enemy Camp
06/12/00: Feminism's Dirty Secret
05/18/00: Look who's leading the Virtue Squad in its crusade to purge the House of campaign finance excess
05/08/00: The Mind of the Left From an Amazon Perspective
05/01/00: America's Totalitarian Shame
04/19/00: Political child molesting
04/04/00: What Hillary won't 'fess up to --- and why
03/29/00: No reason To Glorify the Left's Legacy of Violence
03/27/00: Smoke and Mirrors
03/20/00: Deafening Silence
03/15/00: The Lead Investigator Strikes Back
03/08/00: Racial Killings & Gun Control
02/28/00: Primary Lessons
02/22/00: Racial Shakedowns
01/25/00: Intellectual Class War
01/03/00: A faith that ruined whole continents and destroyed a world of human lives
12/28/99: Brain Dead Till the End
12/14/99: Letter to the past
12/07/99: Why Republicans Lose
11/23/99: MLK is no doubt spinning in his grave
11/10/99: Finding the American Center
11/02/99: Reflections on The Road Taken and Not

© 2000, David Horowitz