Thomas Sowell

It is a painful reminder of human folly, irresponsibility, and exhibitionism that millions of "anti-war" demonstrators have somehow convinced themselves that they have some special aversion to war. No sane human being wants war.

There would be cheers throughout the White House if Saddam Hussein decided to pack his bags and go into retirement somewhere. The real question is: What are the alternatives at this point?

The alternative proposed by France is precisely the alternative that led France into disaster and humiliation in World War II. France "gave peace a chance," both before and after that conflict began.

In violation of her mutual defense treaty with Czechoslovakia, France threw Czechoslovakia to the wolves at the Munich conference in 1938, by agreeing to Hitler's demand that the western portion of that country be turned over to him, without a shot being fired.

Even after formally being at war a year later, France's military inactivity for more than six months led people to speak of "the phony war." During that time, Hitler's main military forces were on the eastern front, invading Poland, and France had overwhelming military superiority on its border with Germany. But France just waited.

In May 1940, the wait was over. The main body of Hitler's troops were now on the western front. When they attacked, France surrendered to the Nazis after just six weeks of fighting.

France, of all nations, should understand that waiting can have a very high cost. That cost would have been even higher if not for France's liberation four years later by Allied troops landing at Normandy, where thousands of young Americans remain buried under a sea of crosses to this day.

"Anti-war" demonstrators act as if we have a choice whether or not to be at war. We were already at war before September 11, 2001, which served to shock many of us into an awareness of that fact.

International terrorists had already declared war on us. The countries that sheltered them and aided them could hide behind the fact that they had not declared war on the United States. They were fighting an undeclared war, using others as their hit men.

When Bill Clinton was president, he fought a "phony war," doing just enough to keep the media satisfied and the issue swept under the rug, but not enough to let the countries who were sponsoring terrorists get the message that we were serious.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate