Instead, media and political elites in Washington and London decided that "the big story" was an anachronistic anti-war rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C. led by faded actress Jane Fonda. Though many of the marchers were too young to remember "Hanoi Jane" posing atop a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun or her description of American POWs as "war criminals," potentates of the press on both sides of the Atlantic fell over themselves to cover the event. One British commentator trumpeted, "It's about time!"
Watching here in London, it was apparent that the thrall on the Mall included the usual fellow travelers in the "Blame America First" coterie, including the aging Hollywood starlet Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn and Rhea Perlman, and a handful of elected officials. Among them was left-wing Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., whose message was the only one that really mattered: "The founders of our country gave our Congress the power of the purse because they envisioned a scenario exactly like we find ourselves in today," he told the thinning crowd.
And then, in words reminiscent of the barbs thrown at Winston Churchill as he futilely urged his countrymen to prepare for the storm that was about to descend upon them in the 1930s, Conyers added, "Not only is it in our power, it is our obligation to stop Bush."
That may be "red meat" to those in the United States who despise this president. But the message isn't lost over here, where advocates of a strong defense have just lost out in Parliament to those who want to scuttle the Royal Navy. One Member of Parliament, appalled at the number of ships to be deactivated, asked me if Congress really would "de-fund the war in Iraq like they did with Vietnam."
I replied that "given the makeup of Congress, it's hard to tell," and then asked, "What did Sir Winston do in such a circumstance?"
He smiled and answered, "He went to the people -- and eventually they listened. But by then it was almost too late. Can President Bush do that?" We should hope so.
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.