The president cited progress in Iraq, noting how by the end of 2004, "90 percent of Iraqi children under age 5 will have been immunized against preventable diseases such as polio, tuberculosis and measles, thanks to the hard work and high ideals of UNICEF." Not to mention their immunization against Saddam Hussein. Do some of the Democrats who are calling President Bush a liar and fraud and briber of other nations wish to suggest that these children and their parents (those Saddam didn't get around to killing) would be better off under the previous regime? If not, who would they have preferred come to their rescue? If America had not acted, probably no one would have.
Bush said "The success of a free Iraq will be watched and noticed throughout the region." So will the failure to solidify Iraq's freedom. The terrorists and thug regimes in the region, some of whom are members in good standing at the United Nations, tremble at the idea that their privileged positions might be endangered by their people determining their own futures. Political and religious dictators see Iraq as either their Waterloo or our Vietnam. The world has the resources to make Iraq and much of the region a success. The question is whether it has the will. The dictators and terrorists are betting it doesn't.
The United Nations, which has repeatedly failed to usher in peace on earth, good will to men, has a chance to help the United States guarantee a better life for millions of Iraqis. By doing so, it would greatly improve its standing in this country and much of the rest of the world. I'm betting it won't. It is difficult to stand up when one lacks a skeletal structure.
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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