Cal  Thomas

It is important for some of those nations that have carped and lobbed rhetorical missiles from the sidelines at U.S. policy in Iraq to participate in rebuilding that country. Terrorism is a threat to every nation, including the surrender monkeys who think they can buy off the killers through appeasement. No free nation is safe from them, and if they aren't coming after certain nations now, they will later unless they are stopped.

Great nations are called to do great and grand things. Freeing Iraq from her imprisonment while striking a mortal blow to terrorists is about as great and grand as it gets.

The public wants to be sure the president knows where he is going and how he intends to get there. The War College speech showed that he does. The question is, will it work? The answer is that it had better work for the alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

My guess is that it will work for one important reason. Our terrorist enemies do not have the power to defeat us in open war. Their power comes from promoting fear that leads to withdrawal and surrender. If we don't panic, they lose. If we withstand even homicide bombers in our country, they lose. If we fight fear with faith and confidence, they lose. Recall Franklin Roosevelt's brilliant line: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." They cannot defeat us any other way.

The president's five-point plan for Iraq depends not only on the Iraqi people. It also depends on the American people. While World War II was the testing moment of the 20th century, this generation's test is Iraq and the war against terror. The Greatest Generation is watching to see if we have what they had. We'll know soon. It's up to the president to keep our resolve strong. The Monday-night speech was a good start.

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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