Just finished watching President Bush's press conference and I feel the urge to comment on two things. About a twenty years ago, a president stood before the nation and classified an enemy as "evil". He was roundly critisized. The press said he was inciting the enemy and escalating the situation. That president's name is Ronald Reagan and the enemy was the "Evil Empire" of the Soviet Union. Reagan boldly defined the parameters of the Cold War in a way that no one before him had done. It was courageous and it helped to define him as a leader of strong convictions.
Since 9/11, President Bush has referred to Osama bin Laden, his operatives, and terrorism at large as "evil". He has defined this "enemy" and established a clear moral position on the battles to come. It has rallied the country. I don't think many people understand the political significance of using the word "evil" to represent an enemy. It's lost on them, mostly because they are moved emotionally by the choice of words. The get wrapped up in the emotion of it and miss the real savvy behind the speech prep. For a president that all you nay-sayers claimed was "not that smart", this is just another stroke of genius.
When you add that to the President's focus on rebuilding the economy and prosecuting the war, I have nothing but great things to say about GW.
And, not to be too wrapped up in the political minutia, but I am also noticing more and more smaller releases talking about Iraq. I can see some groundwork being laid that may start to show up on the radar of most Americans in the next three weeks. Just today there was a new release of info about "mastermind" Mohammad Atta meeting with Iraqi intellegence on two recent occassions. Previous reports have claimed just one recent meeting. There is also more emphasis being placed on the documented involvement of the Iraqi intelligence forces on the first WTC bombing. It is well documented that Clinton opted to focus on a loner terrorist, Ramsey Yousef, and a few thugs despite the evidence that Yousef trained, met, was informed by, and was supplied by the Iraqi government. This decision to prosecute Yousef and avoid pressing the Iraqi issue was done to deflect some of Clinton's early foreign affairs disasters. He got better in his later years, but this decision clearly echos in the WTC disaster of 9/11.
OK, I'm done ranting now. Just don't be too surprised by an Iraqi angle in the weeks to come. The evidence seems to be mounting. When added to the first WTC attack, I can't help but think an extended Iraqi campaign is not far behind. If Afgahnistan can be finalized by December, look for a US campaign against Iraq in January 2003.