Winning the war
I have mixed feelings regarding the prospect of a John McCain presidency. Considering his past policy initiatives, for example, I remain somewhat skeptical of the efficacy of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. Nor do I feel completely comfortable regarding Mr. McCain’s positions on various life issues. In spite of these misgivings, however, I feel absolutely compelled to bring attention to a speech he delivered to the cadets at the Virginia Military Institute on April 11 regarding the conflict in Iraq. I would urge all thinking Americans to obtain a copy of this speech, available at www.johnmccain.com, and then take the time to carefully read it. Do not settle for sound bites and news analysts’ reactions; read it for yourself.
The message offered by Mr. McCain regarding the pivotal nature of the Iraqi conflict is desperately needed and long overdue. It is unfortunate that our president has been unable to explain as clearly and concisely the importance of victory in this war. It is even more unfortunate to witness the disgraceful manner in which opponents of the Bush administration have behaved in recent weeks. It is encouraging, however, when a leader such as Mr. McCain can rise to the occasion and deliver a sober, analytical message of resolve and hope. Mr. McCain’s stand clearly establishes him among the assembly of historically significant American leaders and makes him worthy of voters’ serious consideration in 2008.
We must put aside, at least temporarily, other political issues and begin to think and act as Americans. As Abraham Lincoln once pleaded before Congress, “The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion.” The difficulties and pitfalls inherent in the conflict in Iraq, and more broadly in the struggle against Islamofascism, are formidable. This is not the first time, however, in our nation’s history that we have faced such a trial. The resolve of this nation has been in the past, and can be again, equally formidable. We owe it to past, present and future generations not to fail in this struggle. I believe that we, as members of this nation and of Western civilization, are once again at a crossroads like the one Mr. Lincoln faced when he argued, “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”
In spite of its shortcomings and human frailty, this nation is still the last best hope. This is not so much a declaration of vanity, but rather one of responsibility. I believe Mr. McCain has clearly recognized this responsibility and I appreciate his leadership. Joe Krogmeier Venango, Nebraska