Thomas Sowell
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The most fundamental difference between President Bush and his critics has not been in who has made mistakes, because both have. The biggest difference has been that the President has taken a long-run view of the worldwide war on terror, while his critics are seeking a quick fix.

Critics claim that there is no connection between the war on terror and the war in Iraq. They don't seem to notice that the terrorists themselves obviously see a clear connection, which they express in both words and deeds.

Terrorists are pouring into Iraq, even at the cost of their lives, in order to prevent a free, democratic government from being established in the Middle East. They see victory or defeat in Iraq as having major and long-lasting repercussions throughout the region and even throughout the world.

Critics seem not to be concerned about anything beyond the 2008 elections.

Both individuals within Iraq and countries throughout the Middle East must make life-and-death choices, based on whether they are safer to cooperate with the United States or to align themselves with the terrorists.

If the United States is here today and gone tomorrow, while the terrorists have already demonstrated their staying power and tenacity, we can expect a catastrophic realignment of forces in a region whose oil is the lifeblood of economies around the world.

With fanatical extremists controlling both Middle East oil and nuclear weapons, what happens in the 2008 elections can look like small potatoes compared to the horrors we bequeath our children.

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Thomas Sowell

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

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