With the Iraqi regime now a disgraceful chapter in history whose last words have been written, we must continue the struggle. Democracy and liberty must take root in Iraq, making permanent the freedom the Iraqi people have just begun to taste. Iraq can become that shining City on a Hill for the Middle East, injecting its neighbors with an unquenchable thirst for freedom. Democracy can spread across the Middle East without a shot being fired—but we must face the challenge with the same steely determination the President showed in finally ridding the world of Saddam Hussein.
The long-held doctrine of “stability” must be recognized as a fundamentally flawed foreign policy that helped create the world as it exists today. Looking at the Middle East in particular, there is no other viable option than “de-stabilizing” the hornet’s nest of draconian despotism. We can do as we did in countries like Taiwan and Chile, where President Reagan pressured allies to join the free world—and iron fists gave way to vibrant democracies.
We should not be ashamed for bringing American ideals of individual liberty and self-determination to people who have not known what we regularly take for granted. To those who say that we are attempting to make Iraq in our mold, I say to them, “I hope we are. We should be ashamed if we were not.” To realize the full potential of America, we must be the beacon of freedom for those who want what we are so fortunate to have.
George W. Bush has given our foreign policy the moral compass it should never function without—and the Iraqi people today are free as a result. For generations, Iraqis have yearned to breathe free, living under the thumb of a tyrant as evil as any the world has ever known. Today, they wake up in a reality that sets their souls on fire. They are free. And the world is a safer place for it. That is why we fight.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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