Insightful take from John McCaslin, on the president's vision on Iraq.
President Bush came face-to-face with the sacrifice and uncertainty surrounding the war in Iraq during an 'ask the president' event this week at Okaloosa-Walton College in Niceville, Fla.
'I have a brother who served in Afghanistan and is going back to Iraq,' a young woman stood up and told the president, wondering whether his administration has a vision and strategy to complete the mission.
'That's a very legitimate question,' Bush replied. 'And the answer is, we do. . . . I just want you to know that your brother is going on a mission that has historic proportions to it.'
He then recalled a story that 'I hope helps you and helps everybody understand.' He said he was sharing dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Tokyo and thought it significant their conversation centered on world peace.
'Now, the interesting part of the story, I think, as far as your brother is concerned, is that during the course of the conversation I thought it was pretty neat to be talking to a prime minister of a country that we had been at war with. . . .
'And that day I was talking to the head of a former enemy, and we're talking about keeping the world more peaceful. There were a lot of people after World War II who did not believe that Japan could be a self-governing, peaceful nation. . . .
'But, fortunately, our predecessors in the presidency and the Senate and the Congress . . . never forgot that fantastic American belief that freedom has the capacity to transform lives, transform enemies to allies in peace."
Bush concluded by telling the woman: 'Someday, an American president is going to be sitting down with an elected leader from Iraq, huddled and talking about how to keep the peace. That's what your brother's mission is.'