Leadership and liberation
1/31/2003 12:00:00 AM - Oliver North
Washington, D.C. -- Those who were hoping that 2003 would bring
a new sense of urgency at the United Nations to liberate the world from
terrorism have been greatly disappointed. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
has shown indifference to Iraq's refusal to cooperate with UN weapons
inspectors, while at the same time he was installing a terrorist dictator
from Libya to lead the body's Human Rights Commission.
Jacques Chirac's French government, allegedly on the take from
Iraq, and Gerhard Schroeder of Germany, who provoked anti-American
sentiments to get himself re-elected, have exploited their positions on the
Security Council to thwart U.S. efforts to separate Saddam from his weapons
of mass destruction. Earlier this week, the UN's chief weapons inspector,
Hans Blix, noted that although Iraq's cooperation was "withheld" and the
inspections were nothing more than a game of "hide and seek," he naively
holds out hope that Saddam really will cooperate if we just give him another
Thank God for George W. Bush. The president's State of the Union
address last Tuesday was a welcome dose of reality in the aftermath of the
UN's Keystone Kops routine.
Bush's ringing call for Americans to boldly confront foreign
adversaries with "focus, and clarity, and courage" is a welcome contrast to
Blix's impotent plea for Iraq to "make more effort" to comply with UN
Security Council resolutions demanding Iraqi disarmament.
George W. Bush has emerged as a statesman who does not flinch
from making tough decisions, though his critics are everywhere. Pessimistic
pundits permeate the airwaves. Congressmen carp from the sidelines, and the
French are living up to their unmanly reputation as "lovers, not fighters."
But Bush will not be deterred.
He reminded our allies that, "All free nations have a stake in
preventing sudden and catastrophic attack," but reassured America's citizens
that their security "does not depend on the decisions of others."
This is a president who understands that the American saga has
been one of great promise leavened by an awareness that liberty has not
always been a universal condition; its achievement is a historic exception
and triumph. Freedom, as America's founders understood, is maintained only
through eternal vigilance and a willingness to meet the costs of liberty.
President Ronald Reagan expressed this sentiment to Congress in
1987, warning them to guard against the "paralysis of American power" that
too often has imperiled "the cause of world freedom."
George W.'s father understood the significance of peace. He
enlisted to fight in World War II on his 18th birthday, becoming the Navy's
youngest aviator. He later flew 58 combat missions before being shot down on
Sept. 2, 1944, over Chichi Shima in the Bonin Islands. During his career, he
fought the evils of communism from his posts as ambassador to the United
Nations, as chief liaison to communist China and as director of the CIA. He
helped Ronald Reagan bring the Soviet Union to its knees, and in a 1992
address to Congress, described the death of communism as "the biggest thing
that has happened in the world in my life: America won the Cold War."
But enemies of liberty never rest. While George Bush presided
over the Cold War victory celebrations, his son was forced to declare a war
on terrorism whose first shots were fired on his predecessor's watch, but
"The threats we face today as Americans respect no borders,"
Bill Clinton told Congress in 1996. "Think of them: terrorism, the spread of
weapons of mass destruction ... ethnic and religious hatred, aggression by
But unlike William the Zipper, who pondered issues of war and
peace in late-night pizza party rap sessions with 20-something interns in
the Oval Office, President George W. Bush intends to do more than "think"
about the threats that imperil liberty and world order. "Whatever action is
required, whenever action is necessary, I will defend the freedom and
security of the American people," he promised. Terrorists will be brought to
justice "dead or alive." Saddam Hussein will relinquish his dictatorship,
voluntarily or involuntarily, and "free people will set the course of
history," Bush declared.
Many in our media need to dust off their dictionaries and
discover that this is the definition of leadership. The American public
understands it, which was reflected in the strong approval numbers in polls
taken after his State of the Union address. And although France and Germany
still don't get it, the majority of their European colleagues do, and
expressed their commitment to Bush's leadership in an open letter printed
this week in The Wall Street Journal and leading European newspapers.
Yes, there are still those who will argue that Hans Blix and his
merry men should be given more time to prance around Baghdad, but the fact
remains that resolute action is required to confront international
aggressors and, as Bush so eloquently stated, "to confound the designs of
evil men." Fortunately, the United States finds herself led by a president
who is worthy of confronting such challenges and restoring America and the
world to peace and tranquility.