In an off-the-cuff comment, I heard someone say that President Bush should be “nicer to his neighbors” this upcoming year. I guess it all depends on what you mean by “nice.” If liberating over 25 million people from the control of an evil dictator is being “nice,” then President Bush has been a resounding success. And I would be all for him being “nicer to his neighbors” in 2004. But I do not think this is what was meant by this comment.

“There has been no proof that Iraq was ever involved with the September 11th attacks!”
I hear this comment often, but what do people mean by “no proof”? The UK’s Telegraph published this story about how Mohammed Atta, the mastermind behind al-Qaeda’s attacks on September 11th, was trained in Iraq by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. I’m sure you heard all about this on the nightly news. What? You mean to say that Jennings, Brokaw and Rather did not broadcast this information? For shame! Allow me to fill you in.

A handwritten memo was discovered in Iraq showing that Mohammed Atta was deeply involved with Iraq in carrying off the September 11th attacks. In the memo, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, stated that Mohammed Atta “displayed extraordinary effort.” Any guesses as to what this effort was going towards? This Iraq visit took place in the summer of 2001, and Atta showed that he had the leadership skills needed to be “responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.” A few weeks later, Mohammed Atta’s leadership succeeded in striking three targets that tragic autumn day. “We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam’s involvement with al-Qaeda,” Dr. Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq’s ruling seven-man Presidential Committee, said. “But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks.”

Does this information make you any happier that President Bush invaded Iraq and shut down these training camps? The terrorist training camp of Salman Pak has been shut down, thanks to this war. It is a shame that Democrats hate the President so much that they are willing to ignore the proof of Iraqi involvement in terrorism.

“Bush said Iraq was an imminent threat.”
On September 18, 2003, liberal Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy said of Iraq, “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership, that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.” This is not a new position from Kennedy. Earlier in January he claimed that President Bush “did not make a persuasive case that the threat is imminent and that war is the only alternative.” There is a problem with these statements by Kennedy (and many others) about Iraq not being an imminent threat — President Bush never claimed that Iraq was an imminent threat. In January, only minutes before Kennedy’s silly statement, President Bush stated: “Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.”

Do you wait for the tiny lump in your breast to grow into an imminent threat to your life? Or do you have the doctor X-ray and remove it quickly? In this day of small but very deadly weapons, we cannot afford to wait until just before terrorists and evil dictators take the initiative to attack us. Giving terrorists this time is the same as giving that lump in your breast time to just go away on its own.

“Bush said the war in Iraq was over!”
I heard this comment from the same person who started off this article. I quickly pointed out that President Bush never said that the war in Iraq was over. His exact words were, “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” This does not translate precisely into “the war is over,” but it does not stop people from thinking and saying so. It is not uncommon to hear someone pontificate on the nightly news about how many people have died since “war ended” in Iraq. ABC News is guilty of this in a report by Dean Reynolds. Reynolds quotes the line above delivered by President Bush, and then completely misses the point by following up with, “That was May 1. But as any GI in Iraq can attest, the fighting goes on.” Earth to Reynolds! The key word in President Bush’s statement was “major.” In his article, Reynolds further illustrates that the American people think that the war in Iraq is over. Why would Americans think this, Dean? Could it be the poor reporting work by ABC News?

The echoes of “peace on earth, good will to men” still ring in my ears from the Christmas season. This is a noble goal, but we do not have peace today. The war on terrorism is far from over, and Iraq is just one stop of many on the road to lasting peace. America was content to ignore al-Qaeda and other terrorists before September 11th, regardless of how much they threatened us. But once they brought their fight to our soil, we could ignore them no longer. These terrorists will not wake up one day saying, “Gee, I guess America really isn’t that bad after all.” Since they will not stop, our war against them will continue. As we close out 2003, two years after al-Qaeda terrorists declared war on America in actions we could no longer ignore, I think we need to read again President Bush’s statement about the nature of this conflict: “We will be patient, we will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination. This battle will take time and resolve. But make no mistake about it: we will win.”

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