A Betrayal of Faith

For some reason, a comment left on my ‘Nixon was Unavailable‘ post below by new blogger Diane L continues to bother me:
“There’s no nice way to say this. I don’t think GW Bush is totally on our side. I think the Saudis own him and his family. I don’t want this to be so, but there is No Other Explanation for his behavior… I have to believe the obvious–the President is not playing to win.”
Before the Kissinger appointment, I would have nodded in sympathy, but essentially dismissed the concern as overwraught. I don’t particularly like Bush; he’s always irritated me. But somewhere along the line, he gained my trust. He convinced me that he recognized the threat to our nation, and to the world, and was going to do the right things to ensure that — as best as is possible — the world became a safer place. For Americans, and for everyone.
The standard liberal objection to Bush, and to our present course, is that it harkens back to the worst of the Cold War. American Empire is rising again, they say. The United States has sinned before, and therefore, it must not be allowed to sin again. We cannot be trusted to do right.
I believe differently. I believe that it is essential to condemn the unjust past; but that to allow those errors to paralyze us into inaction in the present is not just foolish, but immoral in itself. For many causes in the world today, we rightfully must ask ourselves — if not us, who?
But if there is any living symbol of that unjust past, it is Henry Kissinger. And with that appointment… Bush has shaken my faith.
So does the appointment of Kissinger mean that the liberals have been right all along; that the path we are now travelling does lead back to the worst excesses of the past?
No. Liberating Afghanistan was a moral and just cause; period. And liberating Iraq is equally just.
But…
Something has changed. Where once my support for Bush was firm, now it is… wary. Cautious. Where this President and his administration follow the path I have already concluded is right, then I will travel with him as a staunch ally.
But where he veers off into uncharted territory, into areas where I remain unconvinced and skeptical, or even simply undecided… well, he’s going to have a harder time making his case than he would have a week ago. The benefit of the doubt has been lost.
There’s more to be said about this, but I don’t know quite what just yet. I’ll let you know when I do.
Or better yet: you tell me. Am I the only one who is especially troubled by this act? Or are there others, like myself, who see this as something of a turning point?