Friday, a writer named Jamelle Boule took to the pages of Salon and demanded that former President George W. Bush sit the Republican Party down and give it a good talking to about how mean it is being to Muslims. It seems that Republicans are being just a little too paranoid about ISIS and Al Qaeda jihadis sneaking into the country and performing acts of mayhem and murder. Bush needs to put a stop to this kind of rhetoric fast, quick, and in a hurry.
The demand is unintentionally funny on so many levels. For one thing, just two years before, the same writer gave the Republicans the back of his hand for continuing to venerate Bush. In 2013, everything Bush had touched had turned to excrement. Between his tax cuts and the war in Iraq, he had blown up the world. Of course Boule was writing this at a time when Obamacare was blowing up, the economy was still in a long-term malaise, and ISIS was getting ready to threaten the peace of the world. Next to that, it may have been only natural that the Bush years were seen as a golden age.
Boule misses the point of how Bush dealt with Muslims. To be sure he emphasized that the War on Terror was not a War on Islam and that most Muslims are decent people who would not think of blowing themselves up in a crowded movie theater. His administration was ruthless in tamping down on hate crimes and other forms of persecution in the wake of 9/11.
Bush’s actions compare favorably, by the way, to Franklin Roosevelt’s record toward Japanese Americans. FDR rounded up American citizens and threw them into internment camps based solely on their ethnicity. Bush, who did not do those things to Muslim Americas, is still despised by the left. Roosevelt remains liberalism’s hero.
On the other hand, Bush was equally ruthless about stopping terrorism, both at home and abroad The Patriot Act remains controversial to this day, but the fact remains that there were no successful acts of terror on American soil after 9/11 on Bush’s watch. Obama cannot make the same boast.
One imagines that were Bush still in office, he would not have made the mess that Obama made in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. ISIS would not exist, and Al Qaeda really would be on the run instead of vying to see who can massacre the most innocents. Bush would not have been so earnest about admitting thousands of Middle Eastern refugees without proper vetting.
Boule is partly right. Bush needs to talk to someone. But that someone is Barack Obama, who has proven both clueless and uninterested in dealing properly with the terrorist threat. Sadly, the current POTUS will not listen.