WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "Our son was killed in Iraq. Though we miss him terribly, we're grateful that FOX News was there to tell the story. Thank you for your coverage. We now know more about the heroism of all the U.S. and Iraqi troops and the positive changes they are bringing about."
That excerpt, from a letter sent by bereaved parents grieving the loss of a son in Iraq, is typical of the mail I receive each time I return from Iraq and Afghanistan. After eight trips to where the Global War on Terrorism is being fought every day by soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines, I now have scores of such missives. They have come from parents, spouses, siblings and the children of the fallen. Their letters are always full of pain, often eloquent, and invariably hopeful that the sacrifice made by their loved ones will not have been in vain.
On Tuesday evening, less than a week before we celebrate the 229th anniversary of American independence, President Bush spoke to the world about the war in which these young Americans fell. Standing before soldiers and their families at Fort Bragg, N.C. -- an audience of those who serve in mortal danger -- the president made an articulate and persuasive presentation on why winning this war is a moral imperative for this nation and what it will take to do so. Sadly, the so-called "loyal opposition" and much of our mainstream media seem not to have heard. In their efforts to disparage the commander in chief, they denigrate those who serve in harm's way, and dishonor the fallen.
The applause at the home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces had barely stopped before the left-leaning leadership of the Democrat Party launched a vicious partisan riposte aimed at gaining political advantage at the expense of our troops. The remarkable similarity of their hollow critique offers evidence of their desperation.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, "The president's frequent references to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 show the weakness of his arguments. He is willing to exploit the sacred ground of Sept. 11, knowing that there is no connection between Sept. 11 and the war in Iraq."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., apparently forgetting that he voted for Operation Iraqi Freedom, offered a parallel response: "The president's numerous references to Sept. 11 did not provide a way forward in Iraq. They only served to remind the American people that our most dangerous enemy, namely Osama bin Laden, is still on the loose and Al Qaeda remains capable of doing this nation great harm." He then added, "'Staying the course,' as the president advocates, is neither sustainable nor likely to lead to the success we all seek."
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.