Cal  Thomas

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - There was something comical about the "anti-war" protesters who gathered here for the abbreviated Bush-Blair summit meeting. They were opposing a war that is nearly over. They demonized the victors - who are fighting in a moral cause - and not the losers, who fight to preserve an immoral rule. These protesters' silence during the deposed (and possibly dead) Saddam Hussein's three decades of murder and mayhem makes them irrelevant.

In toting up the winners and losers of this war, the top loser after Saddam Hussein and his regime must be the political left. From Hollywood's Martin Sheen and Michael Moore to European "leaders," the United Nations and aging peaceniks and their illegitimate progeny, the left has suffered a stunning defeat. These losers were wrong from the beginning because their view of humanity and of good and evil is flawed. Evil must be opposed, sometimes by force. As freed Iraqis begin to testify to the horror and degradation imposed on them by Saddam Hussein, the left will be hard pressed to explain why they were again on the wrong side of history. Their credibility is on a par with the Iraqi information minister who claimed that no coalition tanks had entered Baghdad at a time when the tanks could be seen and heard.

Other losers include the Chinese, Russian and French governments, each of which supplied more arms to Saddam Hussein than any other nation. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (cited in Michael Gove's April 8 column in the London Times), between 1973 and 2002 Russia provided 57 percent of Saddam's arms imports, France 13 percent and China 12 percent. The United States supplied just 1 percent at most and Britain less than that. War critics are wrong when they claim that the United States and Britain are primarily responsible for Saddam's weaponry. No wonder the French, Russians and Chinese opposed coalition efforts. They didn't want their complicity and duplicity discovered.

Some in the American and especially British media were losers because they regularly painted a doomsday scenario - from their predictions of a Vietnam-like quagmire to questioning the wisdom of every military move. ABC's Peter Jennings was especially guilty of extreme negativity about coalition policies and progress, but he was no worse than the entire BBC, which appeared to be in need of antidepressants, to say nothing of a shot of truth serum.

Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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