Some Thoughts on George W. Bush's Declaration of War on the al Qaeda
20 September 2001

For the first time -- well, ever, really, I believed that George W. Bush was the president of the United States.

I had a few minor issues with the speech -- and the major issue this agnostic has with every speech that says that invokes God -- but overall, I was damn impressed. (Though I wished the frelling Congresscritters would sit down and shut up -- we didn't need standing ovations every 4.5 seconds.)

If nothing else, I never thought I'd hear George W. Bush talk about how people "blasphemed against Allah," and I never thought I'd hear George W. Bush cite a URL (, which lists all the relief and charity organizations).

In general, the support of Islam -- which cleverly came very early in the speech -- was heartening to see. We've come a long way in 50 years, from "Japs bombed Hawaii, so we'll intern everyone who looks like that" to "The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends. It is not our many Arab friends."

So was the non-isolationalism. Bush clearly established America as a leader but not as being alone, both in terms of who was killed in the attack and in how the world will respond.

As Adam-Troy Castro said in his newsgroup, tonight, at least, he was The President.

[First posted on sff.people.krad at on 20 September 2001.]


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