I’m talking about Prime Minister Tony Blair’s latest speech on terrorism in Iraq.
Briefly–for I don’t have much time on my hands–it was the kind of speech that the President (and his advisors, for what it’s worth) should have been delivering all this time, recognizing that reasonable people could, you know, disagree on something as fundamentally important as whether or not to go to war.
Instead, opponents of the Iraq War have been painted as traitors and un-American, merely because they had the temerity to disagree with some of our nation’s elected officials–officials, it might be added, who lost in the popular vote tally and who ascended to the corridors of power through some judicially active reasoning.
I think Teddy Roosevelt (now, that’s my kind of Republican), said it best:
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else”