Cal  Thomas

Gordon Brown and others for whom the memory of Sept. 11 and the London bombings of July 7, 2005 may be fading, might wish to revisit the text of Tony Blair's Sedgefield speech in March 2004. These few excerpts might refresh minds as to the danger of fighting a 21st-century threat with 20th-century weapons and remind them of the connection between terrorists in Iraq and terrorists throughout the world: "the nature of the global threat we face -- is real and existential and it is the task of leadership to expose it and fight it, whatever the political cost; and that the true danger is not to any single politician's reputation, but to our country if we now ignore this threat or erase it from the agenda in embarrassment at the difficulties it causes."

At a January 2003 press conference, Blair said, "it is a matter of time unless we act and take a stand before terrorism and weapons of mass destruction come together, and I regard them as two sides of the same coin."

Back to the Sedgefield speech: "From Sept. 11 on, I could see the threat plainly. Here were terrorists prepared to bring about Armageddon. Š Bin Laden has called it a 'duty' to obtain nuclear weapons."

And finally, "to those who think that these things are all disconnected, random acts, disparate threats with no common thread to bind them, look at what's happening in Iraq today. The terrorists pouring into Iraq know full well the importance of destroying not just the nascent progress of Iraq toward stability, prosperity and democracy, but of destroying our confidence, of defeating our will to persevere." Tony Blair gets it. Gordon Brown doesn't. President Bush gets it. The anti-war American left, including Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) who wants to ban funds for any additional troops, doesn't. Not only are troop reinforcements necessary, so is a reinforcement of American and British backbone -- and a stiffening of that upper lip.

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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