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Friday, January 09, 2004

Victor Davis Hanson
Everything VDH writes is so chock full of insight and meaning that I usually have to read it twice. Today's contribution is no different. Did you know much about the Yom Kippur War in 1973? I didn't either - I should have been paying better attention. Even at that time, with Israel under attack from its neighbors, Europe was not just neutral, they were antagonistic to the cause of freedom.

American "unilateralism" in those days meant acting alone not to let Israel perish. Had we gone "multilateral" and listened to our NATO allies - Germany, France, Greece, and Turkey all prohibited American planes from flying supplies in their space in transit to Tel-Aviv - there would be no Israel today at all. How odd that nations who asked for our protection from the Soviets would allow them to fly in supplies to the Syrian dictatorship, but not extend the same privilege of airspace to their protectors to save a democracy.

The world hasn't changed. Bush hasn't "squandered" anything. The French are as they've always been - cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Germany, Turkey, Greece haven't turned on us, they were never with us.

Indeed, America has no time to worry about dress codes. Instead it is has embarked on the most radical policy in the history of the region - one whose unorthodox nature has stymied even our worst critics from the mullahs in Iran to Muammar Khaddafi. Power - destroying and humiliating the Baathists in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan - coupled with idealism in supporting indigenous democracy rather than a shah-like strongman, offers some chance of ending the old way of doing business.

We must continue hacking away the terrorist Hydra in the Sunni Triangle, and hope that the ongoing cultural, economic, and military fallout from Iraq begins to erode fascism and theocracy in Syria and Iran faster than such nearby pathologies can ruin us in Iraq. We are in a race for civilization like none other since World War II. And yet, due solely to the courage and skill of an amazing generation of American professional soldiers battling in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are winning - as this difficult war is beginning to resemble 1944 far more than 1939.

There is hope, thanks to a wise and bold President George W. Bush.

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