I admire my cousin Tom’s Army service. He served in Iraq, and his Army buddies are heading out to a deployment in Afghanistan. But Tom won’t be going with them. You see, he was born in Canada through no fault of his own, and he was adopted by an American family. He has been a naturalized U.S. citizen since he was 12 years old, but because he also has Canadian citizenship, he can’t get the top secret clearance needed to serve in Afghanistan. I don’t understand the need for that level of secrecy. It’s not like we don’t know it’s there. In my mind’s eye, I can almost hear the top secret briefing as Tom’s buddies fly into the country — “This here is Afghanistan. But don’t you be telling anyone about it.”

I don’t see why it is necessary for Tom to renounce his Canadian citizenship. Canada is an ally in our war against terror, and Tom has proven his loyalty with almost ten years of service in the Army. Why is his dual citizenship such a problem? After all, his Swedish-born grandfather served in the 10th Mountain Division during World War II, and he did so before becoming an American citizen. In fact, many people who serve in our military are not American citizens.

I can understand Tom’s dilemma. He wants to answer our country’s call to service and work with his Army buddies, but our country is asking that he renounce a part of who he his. And I don’t see why his dual citizenship should bar him from serving.

Now, if he had dual U.S./French citizenship, then I’d understand the military’s reluctance completely.

The case against Abdul Rahman was dropped. He was accused of apostasy for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, and for that, many Muslim clerics called for his death. Michelle Malkin reports that Rahman has left Afghanistan and has arrived in Italy. The question remains whether a worldwide fatwa will be issued calling for his death.

But maybe I’m just being pessimistic.

I read an AP news story today linked from the Drudge Report. The Afghan court has dropped the case against Abdul Rahman for his crime of becoming a Christian for lack of evidence. It is expected that he will be released soon. This is good news, but he’s not completely out of the woods yet.

An official closely involved with the case told The Associated Press that it had been returned to the prosecutors for more investigation, but that in the meantime, Rahman would be released.

Unless he leaves the country quickly, he will live under the threat of the case being reopened. It is also worth noting the many Muslim clerics who have threatened to have him killed even if he is released. As one cleric said, “We must set an example… He must be hanged.” Or others might think it’s OK to leave Islam.

When I realized that leaving Islam is an act punishable by death, it reminded me of the Iron Curtain thrown up by the Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe countries. They claimed that the wall was to keep the West out, but the truth is it was created to keep their people in. And people who were willing to challenge their edict that they couldn’t leave were sometimes killed as they attempted the crossing. I remember visiting the museum at Checkpoint Charlie in West Berlin in the mid-80s. In the museum was a large map showing the wall around West Berlin, and hundreds of little black crosses circled the city, showing where people had died trying to leave the East.

I don’t want to see Abdul Rahman become a little black cross showing that he died trying to leave Islam.

It appears that Afghan President Karzai is intervening into the case of Abdul Rahman. Afghani clerics are demanding that Rahman be killed for the horrible crime of converting to Christianity. All together now, “Ooo! The horror!” Nicely done.

While still vowing to incite the people to kill Rahman if he is set free, the Afghani clerics also reacted to President Karzai, and one is wanting to get down to the root cause of all this:

Another cleric, Ayatullah Asife Muhseni, told a gathering of preachers and intellectuals at a Kabul hotel that the Afghan president had no right to overturn the punishment of an apostate.

He also demanded that clerics be able to question Rahman in jail to discover why he had converted to Christianity. He suggested it could have been the result of a conspiracy by Western nations or Jews.

Hat tip to Little Green Footballs.

The first time I kissed my sweetheart and wife-to-be, she responded by saying, “Finally!” I guess she had been waiting a while for me to smooch her.

[Darn tootin' I had. --TPK]

Now that President Bush has decided to release many of the documents captured from Iraq and Afghanistan, I responded by saying, “Finally!” I’ve been waiting for the Bush administration to release the documents we have uncovered that have supported our decision to fight. Interestingly enough, Stephen Hayes of The Daily Standard titled his response to this move with the same word.

It’s about time that the U.S. declassify and release documents seized from al-Qaeda and Iraqi sources. I still maintain that we were justified in taking out Saddam Hussein because of his WMD plans, and these documents tend to suggest that Iraq did indeed have WMD. I already wrote about the tapes Saddam made that support the administration’s WMD argument. And as others have pointed out, since the world’s intelligence agencies were all in agreement about Saddam’s WMDs, it’s more likely that they were correct than that they were all wrong.

So far, the tapes suggest that they were right. And these documents will do likewise. Not that the mainstream media will choose to report such news.

Ohhh, war, I despise
Because it means destruction
Of innocent lives

War means tears
To thousands of mothers’ eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives

I said, war, huh
Good God, y’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

– Edwin Star, War

I took a two-hour trip to the city recently, and I spotted three cars with bumper stickers that jumped out at me. The first car had “Anti-Bush” on the left, and “Anti-War” on the right. The second car had “War is never the answer.” And the third had “Wage peace, not war!” I wish I could have stopped them to ask them more about the bumper stickers and their thoughts behind them. They were obviously excited enough about the subject to put something on their cars to proclaim their points, so they should be willing to discuss the issue with me. However, people on a highway are not usually willing to stop and chat about politics. And since I had an appointment that I couldn’t miss, I couldn’t stop and chat with them even if they were willing.

If I could have talked to these people, I would have asked more about their anti-war beliefs. Is there anything they would be willing to fight for? Would they fight if someone wanted to take their wallet? Would they fight if someone broke into their home? Would they fight if someone were raping their spouse or child? Would they fight if someone were actively trying to murder them?

I can easily imagine one possible response: “I wouldn’t fight. I’d call the police!” This basically means that they want someone else to do the fighting for them. Being willing to have the police fight their battles means that they would be willing to have someone else do the work to keep themselves safe. But it is also possible that someone who is devoutly anti-war would react to the above hypothetical situations without fighting or calling on someone else to fight in his or her place. The technical term for this type of person is “victim.”

Over two thousand years ago, there were people who were willing to die at the hands of their murderers rather than raise a hand against them. These people had been a bloodthirsty and murderous group, but after their conversion, they turned from their former ways and buried all their weapons as a sign that they would no longer take up arms against anyone else, not even to defend themselves. They stood by their convictions and did not resist an invading force, even though the attackers killed 1,005 of them in one attack, and an untold number in a second attack. The people of peace eventually fled their homes for a new land, protected by the people there, and they never broke their promise to never take up arms again.

About a decade later, the question of war came up again. Moroni, the head captain of the people — their Commander-in-Chief, if you will — had a difficult decision to make. The people’s liberties were being threatened, and he could either submit or lead his people into war. Moroni took his coat and wrote on it, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” He placed these words, his “Title of Liberty,” on a pole to rally the people to him. For Moroni, these things were too precious to lose without a fight. He did not make the decision lightly, and the people ended up fighting for their freedoms for the next thirteen years. It was a bloody fight, with many dead on both sides, but in the end Moroni and his forces won and maintained their freedoms.

I believe that there are some things that are worth fighting, and yes, even dying for. I believe this way because the loss of these freedoms would be worse to me than the loss of my life. Christ said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He was speaking of Himself and His upcoming death, but the sentiment holds true for the rest of us. And if a man is willing to lay down his life for a friend, is it not nobler to lay down his life for someone he doesn’t know? I am saddened at the thought of each and every serviceman and woman who dies in the line of duty, particularly the dangerous duty in the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. But I also recognize why they do what they do.

On Tuesday, June 28th, President Bush addressed the nation to explain the nature of the heroic service of the Armed Forces in Iraq. This address should never have been necessary, but the media has reported practically every American death with breathless glee: “See?! We told you it was a quagmire over there, just like Vietnam!” The primary rule of the media is “If it bleeds, it leads.” It is very rare that anything positive is reported from Iraq or Afghanistan, but this lack of reporting comes not because there is nothing positive happening there, but because the nature of news doesn’t lend itself to reporting good news. So one American’s death by some roadside bomb is a top story, but a discussion of how many other roadside bombs were successfully neutralized is never mentioned on-screen or in print. But laying aside the nature of reporting, the media would not report good things about the War on Terror because they hate President Bush, and they can’t force themselves to say anything positive about him. If you have never noticed this bias before in the media, the way the media and the Democrats seemed to respond to the President’s speech in near-lockstep should dispel any lingering doubts you may have about media bias. And it is no wonder when members of the media voted between 70-80% for anyone other than President Bush.

Here’s an example of the lockstep response I witnessed. President Bush outlined why we cannot announce a specific end-date for our forces to leave Iraq:

I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I. Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces. Let me explain why that would be a serious mistake. Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis, who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done. It would send the wrong message to our troops, who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy, who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out. We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed, and not a day longer.

I listened to this speech as I was driving across the state. For hours after the speech, I heard commentator after commentator on the Leftist talk-radio circuit criticize President Bush for not giving an exact date when we would leave Iraq. This is one situation when I regret not having a cell phone. If I could have called in, I would have repeated the paragraph above and asked the commentators what part of it they didn’t grasp. I would have asked how many years it took after the rebuilding of Germany after World War II before the U.S. pulled its forces out of that nation. This is, of course, a trick question because U.S. forces are still stationed in Germany.

Calling for a specific withdrawal date shows both a lack of understanding of human nature and of history, if the desire for withdrawal is genuine, or it underlines the depths to which American Leftists will go in their attempt to harm President Bush. Few things would make Iraq a failure like announcing a withdrawal date before we are good and ready. The military didn’t lose the war in Vietnam; the media won the fight by changing public opinion about the war and pushing for an announced withdrawal.

Jim Quinn of the Warroom radio show finds it interesting and telling how the Leftists in this country are aligning themselves with the very terrorists we are fighting. Who wants an immediate withdrawal of Coalition forces from Iraq? The Leftists and the terrorists. Who points out every death in Iraq as an American failure? The Leftists and the terrorists. And who wants the U.S. to fail in its goal of helping to create a free and peaceful Iraq? The Leftists and the terrorists. I can safely state that Leftist want the U.S. cause to fail because that is the way they have aligned themselves. They have not stood up for the fight, and there will be no political benefit from their opposition views if Iraq becomes a free nation. The only way the Leftists will get any political benefit from this war is if the U.S. suffers another Vietnam-like defeat. That is why they are yammering for a withdrawal plan — because they wish to make this war into another Vietnam.

Whether you agreed with or argued with the reasons that led up to the liberation of the people of Iraq, you have to agree that it has become a very successful hornet trap for terrorists. They cannot allow a free and successful nation to exist in the Middle East because that would erode their power base and show the bankrupt state of their philosophy. That is why terrorists from all over the surrounding nations are pouring into Iraq. It is far better for the terrorists to fight trained military forces in Iraq than to launch their attacks against civilians here at home. Since the devastating attacks of September 11th, there have been no other massive attacks here in the States. In this, President Bush has been successful in drawing the terrorists to Iraq in concentrated numbers where they may be captured and killed.

We are at war, and it is a war to preserve our way of life, our freedoms, and our families. These things are worth fighting for. And it is far better to fight and defeat our enemies away from our shores. Or would you prefer to hunt these murderers house to house, Fallujah-style, in your own downtown?

Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea.

If you had held a gun to my head five years ago and demanded that I list the leading terrorism-sponsoring nations, I would have rattled off the list above. (What you wouldn’t have heard was my mental swear-thoughts directed at you for holding a gun to my head. I can’t believe you’d do that to me. I thought we were friends.)

Much has happened since a certain fateful day in September 2001. Since then, Pakistan has become an ally in the war–not a staunch ally like the British or Australians have been, but they have made an impressive change. Another ally of the same “uh, I guess it’s nice to have you” variety is Libya. Qadhafi could see the handwriting on the wall and started to cooperate with the United States by turning over Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program which he was housing.

Now Iraq and Afghanistan have been changed from the Rule of Thug to the Rule of Law. Sadly, this required military action, and many lives were lost. But the end result is fifty million people who are no longer under the cruel thumb of dictators, and these nations have had both public and free elections. Score two big successes in President Bush’s column.

This leaves three nations in the list unchanged. Of these, North Korea is run by a loon. Jon Herskovitz sums up the “Dear Leader” well:

In the cult of personality in North Korea, Kim, a short, pudgy man with a pompadour and platform shoes, is king.

After all, this is a man who pilots jet fighters — even though he always travels by land for his infrequent trips abroad. He has penned operas, produced movies and accomplished a feat unmatched in the annals of professional golf, shooting 11 holes-in-one on the first round he ever played.

If we can believe Kim Jong Il–and why not believe such a skilled golfer?–then North Korea already has nuclear weapons. Presumably, these were being worked on while former President Jimmy Carter was leading North Korea into the Agreed Framework, a negotiated agreement to prevent the North Koreans from doing exactly what they claim to have done. Cox and Forkum explain easily how Kim could have lied to President Carter. Frankly, it is in the nature of a communist dictator to say what he wants. The decades of lies issuing from the Soviet Union should provide ample proof.

In a National Review Online article in 2002, John O’Sullivan put North Korea and Iraq together with the disaster of President Carter’s negotiations on behalf of then-President Clinton:

We now know, of course, that though presidential candidate George Bush was mocked by the “experts” two years ago when he criticized the Washington-Pyongyang agreement as dangerously lacking in “transparency,” he was absolutely right. Apply the lessons of North Korea to Iraq. North Korea and Iraq are both dangerous because they are both secretive totalitarian regimes bent upon maximizing their power through the possession of nuclear weapons. Those who ignored these transparent facts in the case of North Korea — including Bill Clinton, the U.S. State Department, the New York Times, Jimmy Carter (and not forgetting the Nobel Prize Committee) — should humbly observe a vow of silence on Iraq. Instead they are observing a vow of silence of North Korea.

“But we didn’t find any WMDs in Iraq!” I hear the doubters cry. While it is true that we haven’t found masses of WMDs in Iraq, there is evidence that 1) Iraq had manufactured/procured WMDs–witness Hussein’s gassing of the Kurds, and the terrorists’ use of Iraqi mortar shells containing mustard gas and Sarin in their IEDs, 2) Iraq passed a large supply of WMDs to Syria that were later caught as they crossed from Syria into Jordan, and 3) Saddam Hussein was most interested in getting his hands on working nuclear weapons. That is what his nuclear scientists were doing in Libya; when Saddam fell from power, Qadhafi didn’t want the presence of those scientists in his country to attract American ire.

And so we come to Syria. Another Ba’athist party-run nation, as Iraq was under Hussein, Syria has some very strong political ties with the deposed Iraqi regime. As mentioned above, Syria has been a long-time supporter of terrorism, and it has been controlling the disaster that is Lebanon for the past two decades. As the ever-so-lovely wife pointed out, “Lebanon is a NINO: a nation in name only.” But this NINO is starting to shake off its Syrian-forged chains. When I first started to write this article, those chains were still firmly in place, but things are changing in Lebanon. Syrian-backed Prime Minister Omar Karami said that he and his government are resigning: “Out of concern that the government does not become an obstacle to the good of the country, I announce the resignation of the government I had the honor to lead.” They are resigning because of the pressure being put to bear on them by the Lebanese people rising up and calling for Syria to leave Lebanon, which it has pledged to do.

Why is Syria reacting this way? It could swarm into Lebanon and put down the uprising, just as the Soviet Union quashed the Hungarian uprising in 1956. But so far it has not. Why? Could it be the armed masses of coalition forces parked right next door? Could it be that these armed masses of coalition forces parked right next door are increasingly not being tied down in Iraq? Could it be the armed masses of coalition forces parked right next door that are increasingly not being tied down in Iraq were also the force that destroyed the strongest military force in the Arab world in three weeks, and could squish Syria like a grape? Could be. And it could also have something to do with 8 million Iraqi people giving Syria the purple finger.

I’m becoming hopeful that Syria will see the changing tide in the Middle East and will change itself. It is showing this change in how it is reacting to the changes in Lebanon, by its choice to turn over to Iraqi custody Saddam Hussein’s half-brother and 29 other high-level people. I can practically hear Syria saying, “What Iraqi Ba’athists? Oh, you mean these Iraqi Ba’athists. Gosh, how did that ever happen? Here, you have ‘em.”

Finally, there is Iran. I saved this nation for last, because it is both the most populous and, arguably, the most dangerous of the seven nations. Iran has been the most active state-sponsored terrorist nation for decades. It has been led since the 1970s by religious leaders who have taught the Iranian people to hate the U.S with a passion. Don’t believe me? Recently, Iranians in the United States wanted to hold an anti-American celebration in the Marriott hotel in Bethesda, Maryland. While this Washington Post article explains that the event was shut down, it doesn’t report the planned event’s full name: “Twenty-Sixth Anniversary of the Glorious Victory of the Islamic Revolution and Death to America Day.”

Iran is currently at work on its own nuclear program. Yep. This nation, possessed of vast oil reserves, ostensibly needs nuclear plants to provide power for its people. But we don’t have to worry about Iran creating nuclear weapons because their plans are completely peaceful. You can trust them. Really.

France, Germany, and Britain have entered into an agreement with Iran to supply the bits and pieces necessary to get the country’s nuclear reactors up and running, and Iran in turn has promised not to enrich the uranium into bomb-capable material. At the same time, the three countries are recognizing that Iran has the right to go ahead and enrich the uranium. In other words, these three nations have become tools to the Iranians. Why shouldn’t Iran enter into nuclear negotiations with the West when it has learned from the way the West has treated North Korea? Daniel Eisenberg explained this in a article which has since disappeared from CNN’s website, but is still accessible via the Google cache:

Meanwhile, the IAEA has discovered that despite its agreement to temporarily suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment, Iran was continuing to do maintenance work on a uranium-enrichment plant in southern Iran.

At the same time, the Iranians have allegedly finished designing a prototype of a detonator for a nuclear bomb, according to an opposition group based in Paris. Taking their cue from North Korea, the Iranians have seen “that you can extend a negotiating process and still build nukes,” says Bruno Tertrais, senior research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.

Thank you, President Carter, for setting Iranian expectations about negotiations, thanks to your Agreed Framework failure with North Korea.

Europeans are concerned about a possible military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities as a “mistake.” This is understandable when one considers that several European countries have a financial stake in Iran, providing the country’s nuclear reactor parts. This is strikingly similar to the “oil for peace” buyoffs that France, Germany, and Russia were receiving from Saddam Hussein. No wonder these three countries were so loud in denouncing President Bush’s plan to remove Hussein from power. They could see their gravy train leaving the station once Hussein fell.

And this year’s Neville Chamberlain Cluelessness Award goes to… *envelope opening* the Democrat Senator from Delaware, Joseph Biden! An article in the Boston Globe states: “Biden said that even if Iran was a full democracy like India, it would want nuclear capability, like India. What the world needed to address was Iran’s emotional needs, he said, with a nonaggression pact.”

The most recent notable non-aggression pact was between Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union. It didn’t last very long. But Neville Chamberlain is remembered now for a document he signed just before the beginning of hostilities by Nazi Germany. Chamberlain, the British prime minister, visited Hitler and signed a negotiated non-aggression pact. As he stepped off his plane back from Germany, he waved a printed statement that was “symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.” He announced later, “I believe it is peace for our time.”

Prime Minister Chamberlain learned, to his sorrow, that signing papers and entering negotiations with dictators is pointless. President Carter has hopefully learned this lesson after finding out that his negotiations with North Korea were likewise meaningless. But Senator Biden still holds faith in a non-aggression pact.

Here’s your Chamberlain Cluelessness Award, Senator. I hope you don’t come to regret your words as much as Chamberlain did.

Addendum (3/7/2005): Still doubt that President Bush’s action against Saddam Hussein has had an effect on the people of the region? Here is a quote from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Turkish Press:

At the end of the interview, which was conducted last week, Assad said: “Please send this message: I am not Saddam Hussein. I want to cooperate.”

It might have been the photos of a grubby Saddam Hussein being pulled out of his rat hole.

One of the things you will hear in the news, most often from someone on the liberal end of the political spectrum, is the need for an international response to one crisis or another. Our Democrat leaders in the U.S. House and Senate have called for a multinational response to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the War on Terror. Without the blessing of the United Nations, these leaders were not willing to proceed in any of these actions.

But what is it about the United Nations that makes its involvement necessary as part of the American President’s sworn duty to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”? If America must protect itself, does it need the permission of Angola, Benin or Chile? This would be like appealing to your neighbors for permission to stop the armed thug breaking though your front door in the middle of the night. It makes more sense for the head of the household to arm himself and repel the intruder than to waste time on the phone with all the people on the block, asking if it were all right with them if he confronted the trespasser.

You could respond to the example above that the most logical action would be calling the police. While that would be an excellent choice in such a situation, calling the police does not adequately defend you against the armed assailant who is in your house now. Besides, there is no international equivalent of the police department. Regardless of what some people may think, the United Nations has no more power and authority than what the individual member nations choose to give it. And typically, if the United States doesn’t want something to happen in the United Nations, it normally doesn’t happen.

So what benefit is there actually in having the United Nations? The organization will celebrate its 59th anniversary this October, so perhaps it’s time to ask: what tangible benefit does the United States derive from continued membership in the United Nations that it could not achieve on its own? Cannot the U.S. get together with other nations as it sees fit, to create treaties or hold meetings? Certainly it can, and it did so last week during the G8 summit. The eight member states that gathered were Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The United Nations did not need to be present for the world’s eight most economically influential nations to congregate and discuss their goals, needs and plans.

When President Clinton wanted to enter the fighting in Kosovo, he didn’t bother going to the United Nations to get permission. He side-stepped the United Nations completely and started the bombing on his own. President Clinton’s actions in this regard showed how immaterial the United Nations is if the United States chooses to make it so.

But as immaterial as the United Nations is in all practical matters, this does not stop some people from wanting to give the United Nations sufficient power to make it a world government in deed, not just word. I wrote how the laws of thermodynamics work both in biology and sociology. With each level feeding off the level below it, only a small fraction of the energy passed up the food chain actually does any good. Since we already have city, county, state, and federal bureaucracies, do we really need to add another layer of world government and its attendant bureaucracy?

We certainly do not need the United Nations if Rwanda is any indication of how things normally work. In 1993, the United Nations dithered for five months trying to raise a few thousand troops to keep an eye on the warring Tutsi and Hutu peoples. When the larger Hutu population started the outright slaughter of the minority Tutsis, the United Nations stepped right in to stop the massacre. Well, maybe in an alternate universe, but certainly not in this one. In reality, the UN spent the next six months dithering in an attempt to get from 3,000 troops to 5,500. Endless resolutions were passed, and these stern pronouncements were predictably impotent, while over 800,000 Rwandans were hacked to death by machetes.

You may recall that the UN passed 17 such resolutions about Iraq over 12 years; apparently Saddam felt no pressure to comply with them. Only the projection of power supplied by the United States gave these resolutions any teeth. But when the United States decided it was time for Saddam to comply in full with the UN Security Council’s resolutions, the bureaucrats in the United Nations wrung their hands and moaned about the United States acting unilaterally. It was almost as though these bureaucrats were more concerned with keeping control of the situation–even if it were in name only–than they were of making their resolutions stick.

Afghanistan and Iraq are no longer governed by tyrannical and oppressive governments, while Rwanda saw 10% of its population floating down the river in hacked-up chunks. There is a reason why the fates of these two nations are so different. At the beginning of this new century, the United States has a President who is prepared to do the right thing regardless of what the other nations of the world may think or say, and Iraq and Afghanistan are free because President Bush is such a leader. But at the closing of the last century, the United States had a President who was willing to work with the United Nations and too often shared in the slow-acting, ineffectual hand-wringing that typifies an entrenched bureaucracy. Rwanda became a genocidal bloodbath because President Clinton wanted to gather consensus rather than to lead.

It was President Clinton’s brief moments away from the United Nations that led to military victory in Kosovo. But this same President and his minions are now raising their blood-drenched hands to President Bush, demanding that he work not with the nations who willingly joined our coalition, but with the sluggish, ineffectual United Nations bureaucracy. President Bush should give them all the finger and proceed to do his job in the ongoing war, just as President Clinton did in Kosovo.

Steven Den Beste has written an article about the misuse of antibiotics to treat infectious diseases. Tuberculosis is one of those diseases that can require many months of treatment to cure, while many more common ills only need a few weeks of antibiotic treatment. When I had a strep or ear infection, I only needed to be on antibiotics for about two weeks to be cured, but tuberculosis cannot be treated that quickly. One problem with tuberculosis and other infectious diseases is how some people stop taking antibiotics mid-way through the cure. Too often people will discontinue the drugs before the treatment is complete because they start feeling better and think they no longer need treatment.

When people stop taking antibiotics too early, the initial drug treatment starts to kill off the bugs in their system, but there hasn’t been enough time to complete the removal of the disease. The bugs most susceptible to antibiotic treatment have died, but the strongest bugs are still around, and if they aren’t killed off they will breed and pass on their antibiotic resistance. As Nietzsche said, “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” The over-prescription and misuse of antibiotics has generated strains of “superbugs” that are resistant to our modern medicines. Since tuberculosis is difficult enough to treat as it is, being infected with a highly resistant strain of tuberculosis is in effect a death warrant. And if you land in this most unfortunate circumstance, you may blame those who failed to follow their doctors’ direction and stopped taking their antibiotics before it was time.

This brings me to my main point: we are at war. You may not recognize this based on what you hear in the press and what the liberals in government are saying, but our nation is at war. Arguably, the first blow by terrorists against the U.S. came when Ramzi Ahmed Yousef plotted the bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993. Since that time, terrorists have continued to attack Americans both at home and abroad, but the fact that these terrorists had declared war on the U.S., the West, and all non-Muslims around the world didn’t ring loud and clear until Mohammed Atta slammed the first jet into the World Trade Center on a September morning in 2001. At this point, we could no longer ignore the existence of a wide-ranging body of people who hate the West and who want to see us dead.

Recognizing that we had been attacked, President Bush set out to deny a secure base of operations to these terrorists. This is why the U.S. removed the Taliban government from Afghanistan because the Taliban actively supported al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The nation of Afghanistan supports them no more. This is why the U.S. removed Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq because Saddam actively supported al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The nation of Iraq supports them no more.

This nation is at war, and as such there will be battles. People will die. As much as we value human life in the United States, there are those who do not feel this way. Omar Bakri Muhammad on April 18th: “We don’t make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity.” This comes from a cleric in the “Religion of Peace.”

There will be more attacks by terrorists. You can bank on it. We have been blessed with almost three years of no 9/11-type attacks on American soil, but we cannot assume this peace will last forever. In the three years since the attack in September, al-Qaeda has been busy attacking here, here, here, here, here, and here. Will al-Qaeda hit America again? It is not a question of if, it is a question of when. And it will happen this year. Count on it. Since the terrorists were so successful in terrorizing the Spaniards just before their elections, you can take it to the bank that they will strike the U.S. before our national elections in November.

What will be our response to the next big strike? Will we bury our dead, roll up our sleeves, and proceed to clean out the human cesspool that is terrorism? Or will we follow Spain’s lead? After the March 11th bombings, Spaniards marched in the streets shouting their anger and will to fight. But mere days later, they crawled to the voting booth and voted for a Socialist leader who pulled them out of Iraq and cried, “Don’t hurt us!” First they stood tall, then they rolled over on their backs and pissed themselves in fear. If this wasn’t a victory for the terrorists, what would be?

So when we get hit before the election, will we as a nation grit our teeth and strengthen our resolve to rid the world of this menace? Or will we give up and let the terrorists win? Having started the world-wide anti-terrorist medicine, will we see it through to the end when the terrorists are destroyed, or will we stop our treatment early and breed ourselves a group of “super-terrorists” who have survived our first wave of attacks and are that much stronger?

I guess you must ask yourself a simple question: will you stand up and fight, or will you die screaming as they cut off your head?