A year ago, I looked at what was coming up in 2003: the imminent war in Iraq, AIDS in Africa, the thirtieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and human cloning. ?The stakes,? I said then, ?have gotten higher, but this is our appointed moment.?
As I look back on 2003, I?m amazed and gratified by all that has gone on in each of these areas.
The imminent war in Iraq became an actual war. Using tactics and armaments that reflect a just war standard, our troops rushed from the Persian Gulf to Baghdad in less than a week. And today we are doing all we can to establish order and a democratic government. Of course, on the evening news, you are going to hear a lot of carping about how badly we?re doing. This is not true.
Noah Oppenheim writing in the Weekly Standard after a trip to Iraq notes: ?The story of America?s presence in Iraq is the story of ordinary people, with the best of intentions, working ungodly hours, in unpleasant places, with no public acclaim. Their quiet work will never make AP headlines?indeed, it too seldom makes the wires at all?yet they are winning victories nonetheless.? The struggle for freedom in Iraq goes on, and freedom is winning?especially now with the capture of Saddam Hussein.
As to the high stakes of AIDS in Africa?19 million already dead with 13 million AIDS orphans?soon after our broadcast, President Bush in his State of the Union Address proposed $15 billion for AIDS relief. His bill has been signed into law and maintains an emphasis on abstinence and making sure that faith-based organizations are not denied access to funds. This was a great foreign policy victory for the president and an even greater victory for those suffering from that dreaded disease.