Cal  Thomas

The notion that free nations can and should do nothing about oppressed people was a big loser. At a joint news conference with Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bush said "free nations have a responsibility to confront terrorism (and) promote human rights across the world." Call this the Jimmy Carter doctrine, but with muscle.

The winners in this conflict are many, starting with the people of Iraq, who have an opportunity (if they will seize it) not only to claim freedom for themselves but also their posterity and to serve as an example to the region, as they once did in ancient times.

President Bush endured the most personal invective to emerge triumphant. At the Hillsborough Castle news conference the president said, "There is a question in Europe about whether I mean what I say. Saddam Hussein now knows I mean what I say." So does the rest of the world.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, along with the commander of the coalition forces, Gen. Tommy Franks, are also winners. They ignored criticism that their plan was flawed, that there were not enough troops committed to the task and that casualty rates would be unacceptably high. None of this proved true.

All of the clergy, academics and commentators who predicted America would lose the war of public opinion and that this "adventure " would produce "a thousand Bin Ladens" are also wrong. Why should it not produce a thousand, or millions, of Winston Churchills and people who want freedom from religious and political dictators?

History has been on the side of freedom, the side President Bush is on. If he is able to expand these freedoms in the Middle East and in Northern Ireland, this president (so reviled by European eunuchs) will be the biggest winner of all.

Cal Thomas

Get Cal Thomas' new book, What Works, at Amazon.

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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