You have to love our President. With the scent of sagging poll numbers and dropping support for the war in Iraq in the air, the political hyenas have been circling the White House for months.
Yelping incoherently about the lack of leadership in the war and the failure of the federal government in New Orleans, the pack has been hoping for an easy fight and a quick takedown of their prey.
Unfortunately for them, this president is made of sterner stuff than more recent presidents that we could name.
Instead of capitulating to all of the crazy demands made of him by the left, he not only managed to juggle two Supreme Court nominees, but he went on the offensive in the War on Terror in a speech last Oct. 6.
That particular speech is one that we needed to hear for a while. Public support eroded for the war in Iraq, with 32 percent disapproving of Bush’s management of the war and 59 percent saying that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake.
Clearly, there is a need to rally people behind the war again. The best way to do this is to remind people why we are there in the first place.
The speech on Oct. 6 was designed to do just that. Bush gave all the right reasons for why the fight in Iraq is necessary and reminded us all why we are fighting this War on Terror.
First, he addressed who our enemies are. They are not freedom fighters who are battling to overcome historical grievances, as many of the terrorists’ apologists like to say.
Instead they are extremists who seek “the establishment – of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom.” Their goal, as Bush so correctly asserted, is to “enslave whole nations and intimidate the world.”
And their tactics? They blow up innocent civilians in an attempt to cow the West into acquiescing to their demands. We have seen this in Bali, Indonesia, Israel, London and in our own New York.
The fight in Iraq is a central front in the war against the terrorists. Terrorism spreads, in part because “it thrives, like a parasite, on the suffering and frustration of others,” to quote Bush.
Much of this suffering is caused by the totalitarian regimes that populate the Middle East and Africa. They create, through oppression, the very conditions that allow terrorist ideologies to take hold.
This is what the fight in Iraq is all about and it is why we are spending so much blood and treasure to help the Iraqis create a viable democracy. Yes, halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction is important, as it is with North Korea and Iran.
Yet, as we have found through our support of past totalitarian regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, tyranny spawns many more evils than it solves.
Ultimately it will be freedom and democracy that will defeat the terrorists that threaten our country. The terrorists in Iraq know this too, which is why they are fighting so hard to defeat the constitution being drafted and plunge the country into a civil war.
A free, democratic Iraq will eliminate the conditions that allow terrorists to thrive and can hopefully be a beacon of freedom for the rest of the region.
Bush understands this, and his speech is an attempt to remind us all of these truths. The naysayers have no plan to solve the problem of terrorism. For this reason, we must support the continuing struggle in Iraq until its conclusion: the establishment of a free and democratic Iraq.
Sean Paroski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.