Tag Archives: President Bush

Fighting a war by fighting poverty

Having already criticized a State Department spokeswoman for suggesting that job creation should be a strategy in fighting the Islamic State, I am struck by the amazing outrage by right-wing media over her comments.

I hope I stipulated clearly that I wouldn’t join the right-wing hysteria in questioning President Obama’s commitment to destroying ISIL. Others have done enough of that already. Some of the comments are contained in the link attached to this blog post. Take a look. They’re pretty wild.


Media Matters, a left-wing media watchdog website, has produced a most interesting video showing President Bush offering strikingly similar advice in 2002, at a conference in Monterrey, Mexico.

While the comments of State Department flack Marie Harf have drawn considerable condemnation, it fascinates me that President Bush said more than a dozen years ago, “We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror. We fight against poverty because opportunity is a fundamental right to human dignity.”

Perhaps Harf’s comments got blown out of proportion, and weren’t viewed in the totality of the message she sought to deliver on MSNBC’s “Hardball” show with Chris Matthews. I regret not digesting fully all of what she said, which included comments about the administration’s intention to keep killing terrorists as the war on terror rages on.

I just caution, though, that war remains the dirtiest business that humankind ever conducts. It must be fought hard and it must be fought with the intent to defeat the enemy. There can be no doubt about our enemy’s intentions on the current battlefield — and there should be no doubt about our own intentions.

If working quietly with nations that produce terror cells to alleviate the root cause of people taking up arms against the United States and our allies is part of an overall strategy that includes waging all-out war, then by all means let’s proceed.

Let’s never lose sight of the undeniable fact that we’re dealing with a nasty enemy, as Presidents Bush and Obama both have understood.


We're fighting a 'third world war'

Jordanian King Abdullah II is an educated man. He speaks English like an American and as the monarch of a nation friendly to the United States, his words carry some weight around, oh, the White House.

The king told President Obama that we’re engaging in a “third world war” against the Islamic State.


Is it the kind of world war fought in the 20th century twice? No. In King Abdullah’s mind, the world war is of a different — still to be defined — nature.

I agree with him to a point.

World wars may not be fought the way we’ve known them before. Nations won’t line up against other nations, as was the case from 1914 to 1918 and again from 1939 to 1945. Indeed, it well might be said that the latest world war commenced the day those jets flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon — and when President Bush told the crowd at Ground Zero that “the people who knocked these building down will hear all of us soon.”

The world war cannot be defined as World War III. But it appears to be a world war, with civilized nation banding together to take on the ISIL monsters who’ve vowed to carry their fight against the West to our doorstep.

The king told CBS News:

“We really have to have a pan-regional approach to this issue. This is a Muslim problem. We need to take ownership of this. It’s clearly a fight between good and evil. I think this is a third world war by other means.”

Other means? Yes.

We’re hunting down terrorist leaders wherever they are hiding. It might be in the Middle East. It could be in South America. Or in Southeast Asia. On the Indian subcontinent.

It could be in the United States of America.

Wherever they hide and plot their next dastardly deed, they become targets.

Is that a world war, as stated by the Jordanian monarch? Looks like it to me.