WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "Explosion Kills Former Prime Minister." "Suicide Terrorist Kills Five at Nightclub." "Car Bomber Kills 125 Police Recruits." "Iraqi Judge Assassinated." These recent headlines describe bloody events in Lebanon, Israel and Iraq, where IEDs, or "body bombs," have killed and maimed hundreds. Though true, these reports have apparently distracted many in the so-called mainstream media from a discomfiting reality: Freedom is on the march down the "Arab street."
Ever since U.S. troops first went to Afghanistan in October 2001, our supposedly more experienced "betters" in Europe and the "prudent potentates of the press" have said that U.S. military action against an Islamic nation would cause the "Arab street" to rise up and crush us. This theme was widely replayed in the build-up for Operation Iraqi Freedom -- and has been reiterated many times in the aftermath of Saddam Hussein's capture.
Since his Inaugural Address, President Bush has been repeatedly castigated for his "naivety" on one hand and for his "aggressive arrogance" on the other -- because he boldly tells those who suffer tyranny that "the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."
Yet, despite the carping critics -- and the carnage caused by those who would rather die than see freedom flourish -- any objective observer has to conclude that George W. Bush is right. "The call of freedom" does indeed come "to every mind and every soul." Freedom is indeed on the march -- even down the "Arab street."
It was evident last October in Afghanistan, in the ballots cast by Palestinians in early January and again in late January on the ink-stained fingers of Iraqi men and women, raised in proud defiance against murderous thugs who would return them to brutal bondage.
Whether the America-haters and Bush-bashers want to acknowledge it or not, the "call of freedom" is now being heard in places where American "influence" has long been deemed by the "experts" to be minimal, at best:
-- In December, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians peacefully protested to force a new election when a rigged vote installed Vladimir Putin's handpicked presidential candidate. Today, reformist Viktor Yushchenko governs in Kiev. The Bush administration needed to do little more than lend its voice to the calls for a free and fair election.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.