A word fitly spoken

In his National Review Online column today Victor Davis Hanson makes several important points, none more so than this one: “President Bush, whatever one thinks of him, is, well, let’s face it, a strange sort of president. For all the hysteria about Karl Rove’s supposed political calculations and machinations, I sense that the president doesn’t care much what others think of him; indeed, for the price of winning this war he might even be willing to be a one-term president. In other words, this is a man who probably would not have withdrawn from Beirut, turned ships around off the harbor at Haiti at the sound of gunfire, or yanked Americans from Somalia as two-bit thugs dragged their corpses in the street.
“For some reason or another he does not seem to crave future rave reviews from the New York Times, a late-night private dinner in Georgetown, or an obsequious phone call from a European apparatchik. Indeed, he seems to have expected the invective from the Europeans, the slander from our own media, and even the irrational, if not visceral, hatred of American elites as the inevitable wages that come with at last saying ‘enough is enough’ and thereby dissolving in a moment the comfortable fraud that so many of us had invested so heavily in the last 20 years. How long his resistance will last in the face of slander and slurs of historic proportions is unclear; but for now he has again responded in a manner that his enemies would never have anticipated…
“So here we have the stakes in this last, big hand of Middle East poker. Our enemies are betting that our very freedom, affluence, raucous democratic politics, and shoot-from-the hip media will still prove true to form and thus, sooner or later, we will quit

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