Mona Charen

Within the first hours of the war, Iraq fired Scud missiles -- that Hans Blix could not find and Saddam claimed not to have -- at American and British troops.

Don't expect the antiwar crowd to notice this. Up to the very last minute, they were arguing that inspections had "worked." Having been proved so wrong, they will not reconsider. They will instead do what they always do -- assume that the world will forget and move on to the next thing.

For those not blinded by America hatred, this is a moment to reflect on the great good luck that continues to bless the United States of America.

Who would have guessed that the amiable but unprepossessing son of George H.W. Bush -- a prankster and overly enthusiastic drinker in his youth, a man (like Moses?) who often tripped over his words -- would become a president of such vision and high purpose?

He does not choose the easy path. Again and again during his presidency, he has ignored the chorus of conventional wisdom and charted his own path. In this, he is very like Ronald Reagan. Think of the tax cut. It's small beer compared to war and peace, but the contours of his personality were clear then. Though the Democrats (who then controlled the Senate) and most of the press decried the tax cut as unfair and irresponsible, the president persisted -- confidently assuring Congress that the tax cut

was like Goldilocks' porridge, neither too big nor too small, but just right. It passed.

But it was on foreign policy that this president's vision has proved particularly sure and wise. From the moment those planes struck our nation, the president perceived that we were in a new war and understood just whom we were fighting. Many liberals did not and do not. They insisted that the terror attacks made the task of creating a Palestinian state all the more urgent. The president declined to buckle to this conventional wisdom. They urged that attacks on Afghanistan would ignite the Muslim world against us and would in any case result in military quagmire if not defeat. Bush stood his ground. And they argued vehemently that a war to topple Saddam Hussein could be legitimate only if France and Cameroon approved. But the war has begun -- and it carries with it the good wishes and cooperation of 35 other nations.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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