Today, Iraq no longer harbors terrorists such as Abu Nidal and Al-Zarqawi. It no longer exports terrorism or pays the families of suicide bombers in Israel. It no longer threatens to purchase or use weapons of mass destruction. It no longer keeps hospitals and schools closed out of spite.
Its days of murdering 5,000 children a month are over. The rape rooms and torture chambers are closed. Not a single citizen anywhere in the country no longer fears attack by chemical weapons from his or her own government.
The rule of the cruel, sadistic dictator who was seen on videotape sadistically watching as Dobermans tore-apart and ate one of his generals alive is over. The rule of the man who fed prisoners into a machine designed to shred plastic ? some headfirst, some who had to endure the hellish agony feet-first ? is over. The rule of the man whose appetite for killing filled mass graves from one end of Iraq to the other is over.
The hellish pit that was Iraq is a horrible memory ? not because the United Nations leaped into action, and not because the Arab world, the Muslim brethren of the victims of Saddam Hussein's vicious rule, stepped in. It's over because Americans grew abhorred by the level of wrong and stopped it. As Bill Bennett pointed out, that makes seven times that Americans have gone to war to help Muslims.
In other words, our president has done what is right with regard to terrorism, not what is popular. We went to war for the best of reasons and our actions then and now prove it.
What are we doing now? Rebuilding the country. Educating the citizens. Establishing democratic institutions. Training doctors. Building hospitals. Taking care of children. Feeding the hungry. Protecting natural resources. Securing freedom.
As Bennett reminds us, we must remember that it is no less than civilization and barbarism that are at war today and that it has "fallen to us to be the arm, the conscience and the will of civilization."
That's why, he says, we should be proud of our country, proud of our fighting men and women and, yes, proud of our president.
In his radio address last Saturday, President Bush reaffirmed his resolve to hold fast to the quest for a free Iraq:
From the first days of the war on terror, I said our nation would face periods of struggle and testing. As the June 30th transition approaches, we will continue to see a test of wills between the enemies of freedom and its defenders. We will win this test of wills, and overcome every challenge, because the cause of freedom and security is worth our struggle.
I concur. God bless President Bush for his bravery and for his commitment to what is right. And God bless Bill Bennett for setting the record straight.