"Believe" -- Thomas F. Schaller at gadflyer.com, 10/26/04:
I believe in President George W. Bush. I've always believed him.
I believe the president invaded Iraq to secure liberty and democracy for the Iraqi people. I believe he had compelling evidence that Iraq was a significant threat to America and the world, and presented that evidence in a complete and balanced manner. Like 42 percent of Americans – and 62 percent of Republicans – I believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11 attacks.
I believe we have enough troops on the ground in Iraq to ensure stability. I believe the rising American fatality rates, the rising casualty rates, and the rising American share of those coalition fatalities and casualties testify to the undeniable progress we're making there. I believe it is inappropriate and traitorous, however, for the media to broadcast pictures of American flag-draped caskets returning from Iraq.
I believed then-candidate Bush when he said during the 2000 campaign that America should not nation-build, and believe him now when he says our nation was divinely chosen for this task. I believe, as the president claims, that "free societies are peaceful societies," but that the political and civil rights in oppressive, undemocratic countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are exempt from this standard. I believe Iraqis view Americans as liberators, and that once this swift, cheap war concludes the world will be more stable, our allies more cooperative, and our enemies fewer and less threatening. . . .
I believe the president when he says he would have moved "heaven and earth" had he any "inkling" that terrorists were planning to attack America with hijacked airplanes. I believe the security briefing the president read five weeks before the attacks – which was entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside United States," and specifically mentioned hijacked airplanes and New York City as a target – was an inkling-free, "historical" document. I believe we should re-double our investments in a missile defense system, which could have prevented the 9/11 attacks and will prevent future attacks like it from occurring.
I believe the president was right to oppose the formation of the 9/11 Commission, to change his mind but then oppose fully funding it, to change his mind but then oppose granting its request for an extension, to change his mind but refuse to testify for more than an hour, to change his mind but then testify alongside Vice President Dick Cheney so long as transcripts and note-taking were prohibited. I believe the investigation into the Abu Ghraib prison scandal shows it was the fault of a handful of misguided underlings who simply misunderstood a memo signed by the Secretary of Defense which authorized the use of dogs to interrogate prisoners. . . .
Make no mistake: I believe that President Bush, just as he promised he would, has restored honor and integrity to the White House and united us as Americans.