Jewish World Review March 20, 2003 / 16 Adar II, 5763
Lewis A. Fein
The Special Relationship
http://www.jewishworldreview.com | By now, the debates about war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq - about its necessity, its logic, its morality and its fate - will soon end. The protests against liberation (and with them, the deliberate silence before organized murder and sanctioned tyranny) are also over; the fight for freedom will now begin. In this fight - in this struggle, upon the arms of volunteers and across the deeds of young and old; American, British, Bulgarian, Israeli and Iraqi - one bond will unite us all: victory. For victory is not simply a win for awesome strength or martial vigor, but a triumph against criminal darkness and genocidal terror -- a sign that, no matter the enemies aligned against us or the polite indifference leveled before us, mankind - when given the chance and entrusted with the responsibility - can govern freely.
But there is another force at work here, another partnership as important as action itself. That partnership is the "special relationship" between Great Britain and the United States. And that union - tested by the United Nations, attacked by France and insulted by Saddam Hussein - now reveals itself: a solemn oath (announced by Churchill, fortified by Roosevelt, proclaimed by Thatcher, broadcast by Reagan and reaffirmed by men named Tony Blair and George W. Bush) that free nations have a responsibility to posterity, a constituency USA Today does not measure and the New York Times will not consider. Posterity indeed; the will of men since departed and democratic leaders long ago retired, "I speak to you, children of my blood and citizens of my nation, from the earth of courage. The great threat of evil men armed by monstrous weapons is no more. The land is safer not because of those who joined us, but because of what we did proudly, defiantly, victoriously -- and alone."
Yes, alone. The American and British people once again find themselves confronted by tyranny and empty diplomacy. The alternative - the option proposed by France and echoed by Germany - is to do nothing. (Only upon the most insistent questioning, and only through the most damning of evidence, will France's political leaders weakly reply -- "Oui." Yes, Saddam Hussein is responsible for the extermination, torture and imprisonment of one million innocents.) But the French and German response is as blunt as possible: So what!
For France and Germany, tyranny is merely a subjective term. After all, the cold facts of treasonous collusion, mass surrender and anti-Semitic murder would seem to skew France's opinion of any other (mustachioed) dictator. But what France chooses to emphasize (its own mythic glory) is just as important as what it chooses to ignore (a criminal outlaw and an enslaved people). For the liberated people of Iraq will soon write their own history, and that ledger of facts and heroism will also have a damning notation: "France, 1940-45; see also capitulation before Napoleon and Hitler; fabricated histories of heroism."
Thus, what separates Great Britain and the United States from its European inferiors is that elusive quality known as honor. Honor, in its extreme; the defense of liberty for those who seek it and the pursuit of justice for those who demand it. And in the end, honor will vindicate the British and American troops racing towards Baghdad. Free peoples - liberated Iraqi women and children, refugees from the rape rooms and torture chambers - will soon exclaim honor's words: