NOTE: I found this archived blog post. It was published initially on Aug. 31, 2010. I thought in light of recent events that I’d share it once again.
The 43rd president of the United States has been a man of his word: He vowed to keep silent when he handed the keys of the Oval Office over to his successor in January 2009. But now he needs to speak up on something about which he was quite eloquent.
President Bush made a valiant effort in the wake of 9/11 to assure the world that the United States was not going to war against Islam, that we were at war with terrorists who perverted their religion.
But that declaration has been lost on those who believe in how Bush responded to the terror attacks. Many of them now have declared war on Muslims, making no distinction between those who love peace and the religious perverts.
President Obama has been trying as well to make the same point that President Bush made. But he has a unique problem: Many of those who hate Muslims believe Obama is one of them. Thus, his message is falling on deaf ears.
This is why Bush needs to break his self-imposed silence.
The former president has taken up residence back in Texas to work on his library and to write his memoir. He is working with former President Clinton on getting relief for Haiti’s earthquake victims. But he has declared that Obama “deserves my silence” with regard to his policies.
What the current president deserves now is a strong message from his immediate predecessor condemning the anti-Muslim violence that is erupting in communities across the country.
Our enemy is the same today as it was when we struck back in the wake of 9/11: We are fighting terrorists, not Islam’s mainstream believers.