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Jewish World Review April 14, 2003 / 12 Nisan, 5763

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mobray
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Why we fight | Iraqis exuberantly jumping up and down, raucously celebrating their newfound freedom. That's why we fight. Iraqis pouring into the street for a spontaneous venting of 35 years' worth of pent-up rage. That's why we fight. Iraqis publicly proclaiming love or hatred for anyone or anything of their choosing, with no fear of punishment or retribution. That's why we fight.

We fight for our children and our grandchildren. We fight so that they can breathe free as we do now. We fight so that freedom eventually touches every soul on the far corners of the earth. They deserve it-and we need it.

Tyranny is the fertile ground where terrorism is sown. Unfree people are indoctrinated in a world where there is no individual liberty or respect for humanity. Unfree people are often denied even the existence of hope. In these environments where there seems little difference between terrorism and tyranny, terrorists have their found their strongest base of recruitment. Free people, however, are far less susceptible to the allure of evil.

The War on Terror isn't just about intelligence or military; it is about creating a world dominated by the only true antidote to terrorism: freedom.

This struggle isn't just about American security-it is about American values. But really, the two are one in the same. Those who do not support American values do not represent American security. The days of backing strongmen because they "supported" America must be over. Our security depends on it. Security in tyrants is no security at all. Freedom cannot happen overnight, but for an ally to truly be an ally for the long haul, freedom must happen eventually. Otherwise, the demons of history will come back to haunt us yet again.

In Saddam Hussein, we have learned something we must never forget: there is no such thing as a benign despot. It is only a matter of time before a man who terrorizes his own people sets his sights on those outside his borders.

With the Iraqi regime now a disgraceful chapter in history whose last words have been written, we must continue the struggle. Democracy and liberty must take root in Iraq, making permanent the freedom the Iraqi people have just begun to taste. Iraq can become that shining City on a Hill for the Middle East, injecting its neighbors with an unquenchable thirst for freedom. Democracy can spread across the Middle East without a shot being fired-but we must face the challenge with the same steely determination the President showed in finally ridding the world of Saddam Hussein.

The long-held doctrine of "stability" must be recognized as a fundamentally flawed foreign policy that helped create the world as it exists today. Looking at the Middle East in particular, there is no other viable option than "de-stabilizing" the hornet's nest of draconian despotism. We can do as we did in countries like Taiwan and Chile, where President Reagan pressured allies to join the free world-and iron fists gave way to vibrant democracies.

We should not be ashamed for bringing American ideals of individual liberty and self-determination to people who have not known what we regularly take for granted. To those who say that we are attempting to make Iraq in our mold, I say to them, "I hope we are. We should be ashamed if we were not." To realize the full potential of America, we must be the beacon of freedom for those who want what we are so fortunate to have.

George W. Bush has given our foreign policy the moral compass it should never function without-and the Iraqi people today are free as a result. For generations, Iraqis have yearned to breathe free, living under the thumb of a tyrant as evil as any the world has ever known. Today, they wake up in a reality that sets their souls on fire. They are free. And the world is a safer place for it. That is why we fight.

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JWR contributor Joel Mowbray is the author of the forthcoming book "Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Endangers America's Security". Comment by clicking here.

04/09/03: State Department giving Baghdad to House of Saud?
04/07/03: State Department giving Baghdad to House of Saud?
04/02/03: Martha Burk's State Department adventure
03/31/03: State's bad deeds head to Baghdad
03/26/03: Human shields-turned-hawks
03/24/03: No such thing as a benign despot
03/20/03: Self-fulfilling tyranny
03/14/03: Gadhafi-State Department Alliance
03/12/03: Pushing "peace" pushes war instead
03/10/03: One last chance --- for the UN
03/03/03: Democracy domino theory
02/28/03: $1 Trillion tax cut?
02/12/03: Saudi Slavery in America
02/05/03: "We're Going to War"
02/04/03: State Department's idea of a "traitor"
01/27/03: State's cold shoulder
01/02/03: Canada: The Weakest Link
12/20/02: Real Story of Yemen's Scud Missile Purchase
12/18/02: Lott's got the Senate in the palm of his hand
12/12/02: White House moves closer to finding Iraq in "material breach"
12/10/02: A 9/11 plotter confessed
12/06/02: Saudi Spin doctors dodge U.S. marshals
12/03/02: Wild, Wild Web
12/02/02: Justice, finally, for terrorism victims
11/26/02: Sue McDonalds? I Lost 80 lbs With Fast Food!
11/25/02: The State Department's spin machine
11/22/02: Finally! No more open door for Saudis
11/20/02: A defeat for border security
11/18/02: Trial lawyers vs. homeland security
10/09/02: The visas that shouldn't have been
09/26/02: The "right" Miss America
09/23/02: Tax Cuts, R.I.P.
09/17/02: Freedom denied
09/11/02: Iraqi roulette
09/06/02: O'Reilly the wrong 'Factor' in Saudi abduction case
09/05/02: State's war on Americans
08/09/02: White House wants replace 'Visa Express' genius with woman accused of not helping free kidnapped American kids in Arab lands
07/23/02: Visas for suspected terrorists?
07/03/02: Saudis Fueling Mideast Terrorism
07/02/02: Dick Gephardt, Wannabe Deadbeat Son
06/26/02: Open door for terrorists still open
06/17/02: Open Door for Saudi Terrorists
06/11/02: Sacrificing liberty and safety
05/29/02: Coddling Castro
05/20/02: GOP running from social security reform?
05/09/02: Arab (sky) High Culture
04/24/02: Catholic Church's real challenge
04/17/02: How do you say 'media-bias' in Hebrew?
04/09/02: Sexually Explicit "Abstinence" Education?
04/09/02: A price on the heads of Americans overseas
04/02/02: Bush's New Version of Compartmentalization
03/25/02: Homosexuality a Factor in Sex Abuse by Priests
03/20/02: Government's "Candid Cameras"
03/14/02: Happy Abortionist Appreciation Day
03/07/02: Let dissent ring
03/04/02: Is Ted Kennedy a racist?
02/26/02: The Audacity to Be Black and Conservative

© 2003, Joel Mowbray. Adapted from the February 24 issue of National Review