Bush was more the heir to JFK than Obama will ever be
From Brother Ivo:
His Grace recently reviewed the bathos that was Barack Obama's speech in Berlin. Brother Ivo commented briefly thereon, repeatedly describing this President and his administration as cynical. It is the precise word for one who chooses to shroud himself in the cloak of the Kennedy legacy whilst actually sharing few of its ideals or priorities.
Obama's visit to Berlin was deliberately timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of that iconic Kennedy moment. He spoke at precisely the same location, but there the similarity ends. He and those who plan his photo opportunities plainly believe that a picture is worth a thousand words, and so were more interested in the form rather than substance.This President is, as our Texan friends might say, 'all hat and no cattle'.
The low numbers attending the Berlin event attracted comment, with apologists explaining that the small audience was a result of it being by invitation only. This should not surprise anyone: the Obama administration is habituated to the media allowing it to define the news agenda, but the intelligent might ask why claims to follow in the footsteps of political giants like JFK and Reagan are not accompanied with their same openness to the people of the city? If you do not want comparison of impact, why copy so much of the format?
Brother Ivo's mind went back in time to President Kennedy's inaugural address (or on video). One cannot help but contrast the two presidents, ostensibly from the same political party.
Obama consorted with left-wing terrorist Bill Ayres, and has been openly sympathetic to the regime of the late Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. How far is this from Kennedy who, whatever his moral and political failings, was schooled in anti-Communism from the days his father was friends with Senator Joe McCarthy, who employed Bobby Kennedy on his commission to root out Red sympathisers in all parts of public life.
How times have changed in the Democratic Party.
Brother Ivo recalls the patriotic challenge of Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Contrast this with the entitlement agenda of this current President. And Kennedy had a preference for a balanced budget; Obama is the greatest presidential spender in history by far.
One recalls Kennedy's steadfast coolness under pressure as he confronted the bullying might of the Soviet Union, which contrasts with the utterly ineffectual efforts of the current President who has done nothing to prevent the dangerous theocracy that is Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. If Obama has ever read the speech, he has clearly overlooked the passage which read 'We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed'. Plainly, Obama's vacillating weakness continues to encourage Iran's leaders.
Above all it was Kennedy who defined the times when the USA was willing to utilise its diplomatic strength and military might to further the cause of liberty. In words that could have defined the neo-conservative movement which did indeed draw support from old-school Democrats, JFK defined the foreign policy of subsequent administrations thus:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.Would not Israel rejoice to hear such words today?
This much we pledge – and more.
To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do – for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.
Reminding himself of those words, Brother Ivo cannot help but remark that in his foreign policy decisions, President George W Bush cashed the cheque that John F Kennedy wrote. And it was not only in foreign policy that Obama's much maligned predecessor showed himself to be the heir to JFK.
Kennedy promised: "To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required – not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
It was George Bush Jnr who created PEPFAR - the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief - which has just delivered its one millionth AIDS-free baby to HIV mothers, and ensured 5.1 million Aids victims can keep the disease at bay thanks to anti-retro-viral drugs being made readily available. This alone is a legacy any president could rightly be proud of, yet the unassuming President lacks the self-publicising gene that seems to drive his successor.
The sneering comedians of the BBC who abuse Dubya at every opportunity do not know their facts or their history. Dubya is almost certainly the better placed to lay claim to the mantle of JFK, yet he probably cares little about this now as he studiously keeps his promise not to criticise his successor, and quietly works to support the cause of the wounded warriors.
Brother Ivo has a confession to make: he did not want George W Bush to win the Presidency. He fell for the deliberate media campaign of disrespect directed at him. But it all changed on 9/11, when we saw the vulnerability of a man faced with awesome responsibility to keep America safe. He heard many saying that Al Quaeda was unstoppable and that none, least of all 'a fool like Bush', could stop a repeat of such atrocities. Brother Ivo began praying for the man whose problems equalled the challenges presented to JFK, and began also to resent the unfair criticism of a man of good character with a strong sense of responsibility carrying such a terrible burden.
Somehow, the Islamist terrorist attacks were deflected for the rest of his Presidency. He discharged his duties, but two wars forced his eye off the ball in relation to matters of economy. He had expected to be a domestic president, but the Office requires you to play the hand you are dealt.
He bore without comment the insult of Obama being awarded awarded a Nobel Peace Prize just 11 days after coming into office, for nothing more than not being President Bush, who had defended the right of Cindy Sheehan to set up a 'peace camp' outside his Crawford home and said nothing when she decamped when President Obama came to office. She has singularly failed to re-locate it to protest a president who continued the wars and continues to operate Guantanomo Bay. It must irritate Dubya that so many scandals have erupted that would have brought deafening protest had he so acted, yet still he keeps his self-denying ordinance, having stated that America can only have one President at a time.
He may not have been the greatest president, but George W Bush seems to have been far more in the Kennedy mould that President Obama will ever be. In due course, Brother Ivo suggests that Dubya's record will be more fairly judged than has been superficially undertaken by lesser men of recent time. He will probably ultimately earn that greatest of accolades: 'Well done, thou good and trusty servant', and that, one suspects, will be considered reward enough.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
(Posted by Brother Ivo)