The Corner

Bruce Bartlett

The latest festival of Bush-bashing in the NYT Magazine opens with a quote from him. “This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can’t be persuaded, that they’re extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he’s just like them.” I find it hard to believe that Bruce would really say something this contemptible.

Bruce goes on to say, “This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts. He truly believes he’s on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.” Is this really the main problem with Osama bin Laden’s religious views? That he is not an empiricist?

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.