Bush's Speech

I am not a general and have never been in the military. Most of my views on politics and current affairs are a product of my experience as a school teacher, and I tend to think that most human endeavors are pretty similar, whether it’s teaching English to public high school students or fighting a war.

Both endeavors require understanding what your goals are and employing the most efficient and effective means to achieve those goals. As an English teacher, my goal was to teach my students how to understand what they read and how to write clearly. I understood that as an employee of the taxpayers (as opposed to the parents of individual students), I would not be given limitless time and money to achieve this goal.

The public education system began to fail when school people convinced themselves that the taxpayers would give them unlimited time and money to pursue “innovative” techniques that would somehow educate students who didn’t want to be taught in an efficient manner, if at all. In other words, the schools lost the public’s confidence when they took their eyes off the goal of teaching a subject efficiently and went in search of methods that would make everyone -students, parents and politicians- happy.

This brings me to the Iraq War. The goal of war, as I understand it, is to defeat the enemy as quickly and cheaply as possible. Like with the schools, the public is not going to support an endless war, costing limitless amounts of blood and money. They are certainly not going to support it when they turn on their television sets every evening and see horrific violence caused by the people we are supposed to be fighting, with little response from us.

To me, this war has been fought not to destroy the enemy as efficiently and cheaply as possible, but rather to please or at least not offend, in no particular order of importance, the various Muslim sects, the so-called Arab street, our “European allies,” our “Arab allies,” the New York Times, the various “human rights” organizations, and everyone else who thinks that America and Western Civilization are responsible for all of the world’s historical injustices.

I don’t know whether Bush’s plan will work or not. But I do know that it will fail unless he forgets about pleasing the worthies I just mentioned and, instead, does what’s necessary to prevail.

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