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President Bush Continues to Pilot Nation ‘On Course’


Gregory J. Rummo

When President Bush spoke to the nation aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, declaring the demise of Saddam Hussein was “ victory in a war on terror that began on September 11, 2001 and still goes on,” it was fitting that his address, which marked the end of the military phase in Iraq, was delivered to an audience of returning troops aboard an aircraft carrier.

Like a mighty ship at sea, this president does not waver though the seas be rough or the gales strong. This is undoubtedly due to his strong faith in God, a faith “with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind,” as the New Testament writer James explains.

Faced with one of the toughest challenges a president can face, he set a decisive course, ignored his critics and continues to get the job done.

Only a man with deep convictions about the rightness of his mission could sail so boldly. Unlike his predecessor, there’s no wetting the fingers and sticking them in the air to test the direction or whim of public opinion.

No wonder he drives the liberals nuts. He actually does what he says he’s going to do.

George Bush is a man that is unwavering in his belief that at such a time as this, he has been charged with the high calling of protecting the United States of America from global terrorism, a threat so overarching, that if not addressed head on as the national priority, then things like the economy, health care, education and the environment won't matter. Look at the fiscal crisis facing New York City, the result of the destruction of the World Trade Center and the concomitant losses of jobs and tax revenues.

Unfortunately, the memories of many Americans are weak. Others—members of Congress predominately in the minority party—have willfully chosen to exercise selective recall, sensing a political victory by setting their own course in opposition to the president.

And that is a huge mistake.

It is important to remember the course President Bush set was charted before a joint session to Congress on September 20, 2001, during which time, he made it very clear that al Qaeda was not the only organization we would seek out and destroy in the war against terrorism: “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

Four months later in his State of the Union, delivered on January 29, 2002, the president echoed these sentiments in his now famous “Axis of Evil” speech.

Both of these speeches were punctuated by wild applause, often, and from both sides of the aisle.

From the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, the president reminded Americans, “Our mission continues. Al Qaeda is wounded, not destroyed. The scattered cells of the terrorist network still operate in many nations, and we know from daily intelligence that they continue to plot against free people. The proliferation of deadly weapons remains a serious danger. The enemies of freedom are not idle, and neither are we. Our government has taken unprecedented measures to defend the homeland. And we will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike.”

“The war on terror is not over; yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory.”

Addressing the returning troops from an aircraft carrier wasn’t conceived as a photo-op or some cheap, glitzy show to cement public opinion. The president already had almost 80 percent of Americans on his side. In an awesome spectacle 19 months after 9-11, George Bush used the occasion to remind the world—Syria and North Korea, take special note—that he is undeterred and still on course in the war against terror.

He cemented his remarks the following weekend in his radio address, saying, "No act of terrorists will change our purpose or weaken our resolve or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory."

Meanwhile, somewhere along the way, the crew of that other vessel, the USS Other Side of the Aisle, last seen floundering somewhere out at sea, has apparently abandoned ship. James would remind us that these were clearly, “double-minded [men]…unstable in all [their] ways.”

Frankly—we’re better off without them.


Gregory J. Rummo is a syndicated columnist. Visit his website,

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