WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the sun sets on 2005, there are a number of people and events worthy of mention and remembrance -- some good, some not so good. It is also that time of year when we must make our resolutions for the coming year. And since I'm in the business of giving unsolicited advice, herewith are a few suggestions to those who may or may not need them.
First, congratulations must be offered to the Iraqi people along with a respectful suggestion that they resolve to stay strong and continue the astounding progress they are making in transforming their country from a brutal dictatorship to a working democracy. In the course of 12 months in 2005, Iraqis braved terrorist threats and persistent pessimism from the press to go to the polls and show that democratic government is a viable alternative to the violence we have witnessed in that part of the world for too long.
All year, the determination of the Iraqis and the brilliance of our troops were denounced by the likes of Howard Dean -- the leader of the Democrat Party -- who should resolve to become more optimistic about America and our troops. Just a week before the Iraqis held their most recent, historic, peaceful elections, Dean was speaking to WOIA Radio in San Antonio, Texas, and predicted that America would lose the war in Iraq. "The idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq," Dean explained, "is an idea which is just plain wrong."
And speaking of being "just plain wrong," there are two prominent liberals who, in 2006, should resolve to take refresher courses in American history so they don't continue to impugn the character of our service members and our country. After correspondent Andrea Mitchell reported that Iran's new president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have been one of the terrorists who held Americans hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, NBC News anchor Brian Williams responded, "Andrea, what would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. Presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called terrorists at the time by the British Crown, after all."
As bad as that remark was, it was topped by Senator Dick Durbin, who accused U.S. troops serving at Guantanamo Bay of war crimes, saying their treatment of terrorist prisoners resembled that "done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime -- Pol Pot, or others." In addition to the remedial history lessons, Durbin should resolve to make the sincere apology he never made.
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.