To the editor:

The president is not perfect.

No one is perfect, especially President Bush. He has shown us he is only human. However, he has proven to be a great wartime president.

Jimmy Carter has commented that the Bush presidency is the worst in history. I guess it is because he is getting old that he has forgotten his own administration. Interest rates were up to 18 percent, inflation was rampant, the Dow industrial average was in the 700s, gasoline lines were around the block. Mr. Carter had no respect for the military and started its decline.

On Nov. 4, 1979, the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Iran was overrun by students in the first of the Islamic terrorist events that have continued to this date. One attempt was made to rescue the hostages, but it was botched with the loss of one helicopter and one C-130 plane along with eight military personnel.

The embassy personnel stayed prisoners the remainder of the Carter administration. Diplomatic efforts to release them were not effective. It wasn’t until President Reagan, a strong president willing to take action, that the Iranians released the prisoners. This showed the contempt of the Iranian government for President Carter.

When Clinton became president, both he and Hillary let it be known that they loathed the military. The military declined throughout Clinton’s two terms in office.

Clinton had numerous opportunities to stand up to terrorism during his administration as set out below:

Act 1: A car bomb was exploded under the World Trade Center on Feb. 2, 1993, resulting in a great deal of building damage and 1,042 injured. This was one of the beginning steps leading to 9-11.

A number of people were caught and sentenced for this incident. However, the root of the problem was not addressed — Islamic terrorism. It was policy during the Clinton administration that the FBI and CIA could not share information. Facts that could have prevented 9-11 were not shared.

Act 2: Mogadishu, Somalia. The U.S. was part of a U.N. operation to help feed starving Somalis. In an operation that went wrong in Mogadishu on Oct. 3 and 4, 1993, two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down. Eighteen U.S. troops were killed and their bodies mutilated and dragged through the streets. An additional 79 troops were wounded.

Shortly thereafter, in a show of lack of intestinal fortitude, all troops were withdrawn.

Act 3: On Aug. 7, 1995, the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were bombed with a large loss of life by the native population. Clinton lost his temper and fired off some rockets into the rocks of Afghanistan and into an aspirin factory in the Sudan.

Act 4: On June 26, 1996, our Air Force barracks, Khobar Towers, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, was hit by a truck bomb leaving 19 dead and 500 wounded.

Act 5: On Aug. 28, 1998, Clinton finally lost his patience and vowed war against terrorism. (No apparent action taken.)

Act 6: On Oct. 12, 2000, the USS Cole was bombed, leaving 19 dead and 39 injured.

Bush began his presidency January 2001. On Sept. 11, 2001, the World Trade Centers were demolished and the Pentagon damaged with loss of life near 3,000. Bush immediately organized retaliation. A U.N. action group went into Afghanistan and soon defeated the Al Qaeda government.

Iraq had been ignoring the U.N. sanctions imposed after the first Gulf War. Congress, both Republican and Democrat, believed that Sadaam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction from information gathered by intelligence gathering agencies. Hussein had used poison gas to kill tens of thousands of Kurds. The Hussein dictatorship was rampant with murder, rape and torture.

Combat operations began March 18, 2003, and ended May 2, 2003, with the end of the Iraqi military organized resistance.

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln had finished its tour of the Gulf and was returning to the States. Bush flew on board to provide a welcome. The banner “Mission Accomplished” was the carrier’s and not Bush’s.

Unfortunately, no one anticipated the amount of foreign terrorists who would flood into Iraq from neighboring countries. Under the circumstances, Bush’s handling of the war was as good as can be expected. People can always fault decisions after the fact.

We can imagine what the world would look like if Al Gore had been elected. He would have immediately tried to sell carbon credits to the terrorists to cover the global warming they caused.

If John Kerry had been president, he would have put himself in for another Purple Heart and opted out of the war, just as he did in Vietnam.

We should all thank God for our president and keep him in our prayers, and pray for God’s choice in the next election.

Bob Hickey

Blanket