Mobile Register

Sunday, September 26, 2004 Edition: 01, Section: D, Page 02    

Substantial reason to re-elect George Bush

BECAUSE THE United States is engaged in the fight of our lifetime, a war against a radical coalition of Islamic terrorists bent on the destruction of our very way of life, we must have a president who understands the nature of the conflict and who has the fortitude to vigorously wage and win the war.

Because we already have such a president, the Mobile Register enthusiastically endorses the re-election of George W. Bush.

Against the planners of 9/11 and the cretins who behead the innocent, Mr. Bush is the right man at the right time.  And Vice President Dick Cheney is the right man to assist him and, if disaster strikes Mr. Bush, to ascend to the presidency.

Quibble, if you must, with some of the lesser decisions of the Bush-Cheney administration.  The president should have used his veto power to curb excessive spending, and should not have pushed through an ill-considered Medicare drug law.

But on the three most vital decisions of his presidency, Mr. Bush made the right calls.

The most important big decision was to treat the Islamic terrorists as a military adversary, rather than - as John Kerry has ill-advisedly said he prefers - as primarily a matter for intelligence and law enforcement.  President Bush has carried the battle to foreign fields, the better to keep the carnage from again striking American civilians at home.

The second big decision, and equally wise, was to finally enforce 13 years of United Nations resolutions by leading a coalition to topple the supremely dangerous Saddam Hussein.

Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a constant threat to its neighbors, a documented user of chemical weapons, a supporter of terrorists, a nightmare of brutality for its own citizens, and ongoing evidence for all like-minded tyrants that the free world lacked the resolve to keep a bad man down.

Now the state-sponsored killing fields of innocent civilians are gone from Iraq. Iraq's neighbors no longer live in fear.  Palestinian would-be suicide bombers no longer have the incentive of knowing their families will receive cash rewards from Saddam Hussein.  Partly as a result, levels of anti-Israeli terrorism have fallen dramatically.

Finally, in a diplomatic coup far too little appreciated, a terrified Moammar Gadhafi has dismantled an advanced nuclear weapons program in Libya - while, at the same time, a pan-Arab conference has called for democratic reforms, and states from the Persian Gulf to Pakistan to the Pacific Ocean have helped arrest and kill terrorists, seize their finances and disrupt their communications.

John Kerry, on the other hand, keeps promising, with no evidence, that he could somehow convince the French to bless our efforts, as he shamefully insults our dozens of real allies by calling them a "coalition of the coerced and the bribed."  Especially compared to that ill-advised pettiness, President Bush's statesmanship has been Olympian.

Finally, the third big decision of the Bush presidency has been to fight an inherited recession by means of well-designed, broad-based tax cuts, thus enabling the American economy to support the war against terrorists.

Make no mistake: The mildness of the quick recession and the strength of the recovery from it have been as amazing as they have been unappreciated.  Faced with the triple-whammy of a bursting tech-stock bubble, an inherited spate of corporate scandals and the attacks of 9/11, the Bush economic policies succeeded in limiting the damage and then creating a virtually unprecedented combination of low inflation, low interest rates and low unemployment.

Millions of people were dropped from the tax rolls altogether, while millions more low-income workers had their effective tax rates slashed by a third.

As a result, the United States has maintained enough productive capacity to support the war effort and protect the homeland.

All told, this is a mighty solid record on which the Bush-Cheney ticket is running.  Even against a better opponent than the defense-cutting, tax-raising, flip-flopping John Kerry, it would be a record well worth re-election.  Against Mr. Kerry, it should be no contest.

Copyright © 2004 Mobile Register.  Reprinted by permission.  (Frances Coleman Oct. 14, 2004)

The Mobile Register is Alabama's oldest newspaper.  Editorial board members include: Howard Bronson, publisher; Frances Coleman, editorial page editor; Mike Marshall, editor; Quin Hillyer, editorial writer; Jane Nichols, editorial writer; Robert Buchanan, public editor; and J.S. Crowe, political cartoonist. 
"It was a consensus on the part of our editorial board. We did not take a formal vote; if we had, I expect two of the group would have dissented."-Frances Coleman