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April 20, 2007--

Open Letter to President Bush: Take Off the Gloves in Responding to Defeatism -- It's Now or Never.  

President Bush:

               Your critics have relentlessly and increasingly demonized you since shortly after 9-11.  Early in 2003, Ted Kennedy accused you of having "hatched" plans to topple Saddam in order for your "friends" to make "profits."  In my book, as well as that of anyone with common sense, that's a vicious attack on your patriotism.  Numerous post-toppling-of-Saddam critics* who unequivocally accepted the virtually universal belief before commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) that despite Bill Clinton's cruise-missile attack on Iraq in the late 1990's Saddam Hussein still retained WMD capabilities undiscovered by U.N. inspectors have subsequently and relentlessly accused you of having "lied" in describing such virtually universal belief to the American people before commencement of OIF.  If that's not a vicious attack on your patriotism, it ought to be hard to find equivalent or worse examples, but there are many.  After Abu Ghraib, Ted Kennedy explicitly accused you of having purposely conducted the "same" torture at Abu Ghraib as Saddam Hussein but under your "new management."  If that's not a vicious attack on your patriotism, its hard to find a worse example.  But there are more.  Dick Durbin accused you of being responsible for practices equivalent to the worst crimes of the "Nazis" and the Soviets running their "Ghulags."  If that's not a vicious attack on your patriotism, it's hard to find a worse example.  But there are more.  Al Gore was lauded and cheered by Democrats for chanting (with feverish, Elmer-Gantry fervor) that you had "betrayed our country."  If that's not an attack on your patriotism, what is it?  There are more, but to list them all would be beyond the scope and size of this column.  Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock knows that your critics have virtually equated you with "Hitler."  They laud, or tacitly condone, those who characterize you as a "terrorist."  

               In 2004 you won a significant victory despite massive propaganda by critics who equate you with "Hitler."  You received tens of millions more votes than did Bill Clinton in either of his elections.  You received a significant majority of the votes and he never received more than a plurality.  You then mistakenly thought that since the election showed that the American people "got it" on the issue of Iraq, you would not thereafter need to, and thus should not, descend to the level of your critics as they relentlessly not only continued but continuously escalated their attacks against you.  You failed to realize that American voters in what is called the "middle" have the attention-span and patience of a teenager emerging from adolescence.  You failed to realize that it was, and would remain, imperative that for you to relentlessly and forcefully respond to all such attacks rather than trying to remain "above" such debate.

               You've remained too passive in this context for too long.  You should have "taken the gloves off" in debating these attackers long ago.  It may be too late now.  Their defeatism has now infected the "mainstream" in the minds of too many in the "middle."  It may be too late to cure the infection, but if not, it's now or never.  You need to communicate daily and forcefully with the American people to convey to them the catastrophic consequences of anything less than victory in Iraq over the totalitarians.  You need to stop mincing words in criticizing your critics.  Stop worrying about their inevitable "talking points" response to accuse you of questioning their "patriotism."  The stakes are too high for you to continue to try to conduct this debate as though you were in a polite debate club in which opponents obey rules of civility.  Take the gloves off, Mr. President.

Jim Wrenn is Editor at WrennCom.Com and Editor at PoliSat.Com.  

*The chorus is large:  Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd, Dennis Kucinich, Howard Dean, et al ad nauseum.

Permanent link to this Commentary:  http://WrennCom.Com/CommentaryArchives/2007/20y07m04d20-01.asp.