You have to know that Jim Rutenberg at the New York Times was spilling tear drops onto his keyboards as he wrote this:
Until last weekend, President Bush had repeatedly fallen short in seven months of battles with a Democratic-led Congress that would not give him what he wanted on immigration or education, health care or energy policy.
But the Congressional vote that authorized eavesdropping without warrants on international communications, including those involving Americans within the United States, has shown that there is at least one arena in which Mr. Bush can still hold the line: terrorism.
They have done their best to ensure that terrorism was NOT his main forte and they failed. The American people WANT us listening in on our enemy. They want our secret intelligence programs to remain secret and do their job. They also want us to win in Iraq:
USA TODAY’s Susan Page reports that President Bush is making some headway in arguing that the increase in U.S. troops in Iraq is showing military progress.
In the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, taken Friday through Sunday, the proportion of those who said the additional troops are "making the situation better" rose to 31% from 22% a month ago. Those who said it was "not making much difference" dropped to 41% from 51%.
About the same number said it was making things worse: 24% now, 25% a month ago.
The nutroots and Democrats do not understand this nor will they ever. Oh, they understand cutting and running from a tough fight quite well. But the American people want to be protected, and that means being able to project power and confidence. As Ion Mihai Pacepa, former Romanian head of intelligence in West Germany during the Cold War, said today, projection of power and confidence, of the ability to fight evil and see it through is what made people respect this country. What made them rely on this country:
During last week’s two-day summit, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown thanked President Bush for leading the global war on terror. Mr. Brown acknowledged "the debt the world owes to the U.S. for its leadership in this fight against international terrorism" and vowed to follow Winston Churchill’s lead and make Britain’s ties with America even stronger.
Mr. Brown’s statements elicited anger from many of Mr. Bush’s domestic detractors, who claim the president concocted the war on terror for personal gain. But as someone who escaped from communist Romania — with two death sentences on his head — in order to become a citizen of this great country, I have a hard time understanding why some of our top political leaders can dare in a time of war to call our commander in chief a "liar," a "deceiver" and a "fraud."
I spent decades scrutinizing the U.S. from Europe, and I learned that international respect for America is directly proportional to America’s own respect for its president.
My father spent most of his life working for General Motors in Romania and had a picture of President Truman in our house in Bucharest. While "America" was a vague place somewhere thousands of miles away, he was her tangible symbol. For us, it was he who had helped save civilization from the Nazi barbarians, and it was he who helped restore our freedom after the war — if only for a brief while. We learned that America loved Truman, and we loved America. It was as simple as that.
Later, when I headed Romania’s intelligence station in West Germany, everyone there admired America too. People would often tell me that the "Amis" meant the difference between night and day in their lives. By "night" they meant East Germany, where their former compatriots were scraping along under economic privation and Stasi brutality. That was then.~~~
Sowing the seeds of anti-Americanism by discrediting the American president was one of the main tasks of the Soviet-bloc intelligence community during the years I worked at its top levels. This same strategy is at work today, but it is regarded as bad manners to point out the Soviet parallels.~~~
The European leftists, like any totalitarians, needed a tangible enemy, and we gave them one. In no time they began beating their drums decrying President Truman as the "butcher of Hiroshima." We went on to spend many years and many billions of dollars disparaging subsequent presidents: Eisenhower as a war-mongering "shark" run by the military-industrial complex, Johnson as a mafia boss who had bumped off his predecessor, Nixon as a petty tyrant, Ford as a dimwitted football player and Jimmy Carter as a bumbling peanut farmer. In 1978, when I left Romania for good, the bloc intelligence community had already collected 700 million signatures on a "Yankees-Go-Home" petition, at the same time launching the slogan "Europe for the Europeans."
During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America’s presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Those weren’t facts. They were our tales, but some seven million Americans ended up being convinced their own president, not communism, was the enemy. As Yuri Andropov, who conceived this dezinformatsiya war against the U.S., used to tell me, people are more willing to believe smut than holiness.
The final goal of our anti-American offensive was to discourage the U.S. from protecting the world against communist terrorism and expansion. Sadly, we succeeded. After U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Vietnam, the victorious communists massacred some two million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Another million tried to escape, but many died in the attempt. This tragedy also created a credibility gap between America and the rest of the world, damaged the cohesion of American foreign policy, and poisoned domestic debate in the U.S.
Unfortunately, partisans today have taken a page from the old Soviet playbook.
And count the New York Times in that partisan fold. This time they failed. The leaker (I will say it again, if Thomas Tamm is the one who leaked, he should hang) tried his best to ensure a victory for the Democrats and a victory for our enemy, but failed. Neither truly understands that Americans need to know that they are protected. Not by reading the details of a secret intelligence operation but by trusting the fact that those kind of programs are going on.
When the New York Times printed the leakers story we all knew it was going on, but so too did the enemy.
And that is unforgivable.