Maggie Gallagher

"All governments," said President Bush, "that support terror are complicit in a war against civilization. No government should ignore the threat of terror, because to look the other way gives terrorists the chance to regroup and recruit and prepare." And "all nations that fight terror as if the lives of their own people depend on it" will win the judgment of history.

The most promising thing about U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's remarks is that unlike the French (or the Democratic presidential candidates, for that matter), he acknowledges the real and serious reasons that the United States refused to wait for the U.N. to deal with Iraq:

"Until now, it has been understood that when states go beyond (self-defense) and decide to use force to deal with broader threats to international peace and security, they need the unique legitimacy provided by the United Nations," Kofi Annan warned. "Now some say this understanding is no longer tenable, since an armed attack with weapons of mass destruction could be launched any time without warning or by a clandestine group. ... It is not enough to denounce unilateralism unless we also face up squarely to the concerns that make some states feel uniquely vulnerable, since it is those concerns that drive them to take unilateral actions. We must show that those concerns can, and will, be addressed effectively through collective action."

A noble sentiment. Myself, I feel safer counting on the president of the United States to defend us. Don't you?


Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.