Larry Elder

Understand this. When the United States led a coalition to enforce U.N. Resolution 1441 in the face of United Nations fecklessness, we did so out of a concern for our national security interests. Many in the "international community" still fail to see that radical Islamists, who seek to practice terrorism, threaten civilization itself, not just the United States. But their failure to see the enemy before them simply means that the Unites States must do its duty and accept that -- at least in the short run -- this requires us to do the heavy lifting.

Many nations don't get it, and perhaps never will. Despite the United Nation's unwillingness to put muscle into Resolution 1441, terrorists attacked the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad. On Oct. 6, 2002, terrorists blew up a French tanker. On Oct. 12, 2002, in Bali, Indonesia, terrorists bombed a nightclub. And terrorists in Iraq recently bombed a Red Cross building.

As for President Bush, not a bad couple of weeks. First, the economy appears to be bouncing back nicely, with unemployment compensation claims going down, the stock market in a boom, and economic growth last quarter now pegging the '90s boom rate of growth at a brisk 6 or 7 percent.

Congress voted for his requested $87 billion to support the troops in Iraq and to assist in that country's reconstruction. And the United Nations unanimously approved a resolution opening the door for the possibility of foreign troops in Iraq as well as the discussed financial contributions.

North Korea earlier refused to discontinue a nuclear weapons program without a formal U.S. non-aggression treaty. Now Kim Jong Il agrees to discontinue with only a written security assurance from the United States. (But as President Ronald Reagan warned, trust but verify. Remember, the Koreans lied to former President Clinton.)

In Iran, after many defiant statements, the country now agrees to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect and assure the world that it, too, intends to discontinue its weapons program. Do you think that perhaps the president's invasion of Iraq made the other two-thirds of the Axis of Evil just a tad skittish? Coincidence?

Oh, well, as always, the Democratic presidential contenders can still browbeat Bush for failing to master the pronunciation of the word "nuclear."

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit