Jewish World Review Dec. 22, 2003 / 27 Kislev, 5764

Neil Cavuto

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Nothing succeeds . . . like success | The French want to strike a deal with us. The Germans are saying nice things about us. And the Russians just might entertain a partnership with us. But wait a minute, I thought all these guys hated us?

I think they still do, but something changed. Saddam Hussein has been captured. And now the countries who wouldn't do squat to remove him are tripping over themselves to strike a deal with the country that did.

Nothing succeeds, it seems, like success. After all, when things were looking very rocky in Iraq, these countries couldn't pull out the diplomatic I-told-you-so's fast enough. Way back then, actually just last week, they were dumping on us . . . now they're praising us, praising the capture of a very bad man who did very bad things.

The only thing very bad going on here is the smarmy, wormy, phony behavior of our so-called pals. I just hope we're looking at all of this with eyes wide open. I mean, let's be real here. Nabbing Saddam was no easy feat. But it's a remarkable one. It takes away the most pointed of all the criticisms of this war . . . that we let the big guy get away.

Well now the big guy's being detained and de-liced, and the bugs we call our friends are desperately trying to scramble back into the picture because they now see the bigger picture: a liberated Iraq, a freer Iraq, an independent Iraq and a no-Saddam-coming-back-ever Iraq.

I also think they fear a suddenly talking Saddam, someone who might prove eager to cop a deal to dodge a bullet. To me, at least, the French particularly seem a little too solicitous, a little too congratulatory and a little too slovenly. Perhaps they fear the former Iraqi dictator will spill more than the beans on weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps they sense Saddam will spell out how he got those weapons, or the materials, supplies and maybe even the advice for those weapons. I always thought when we were debating this war, the French doth protested too much. The cynic in me suspects it wasn't all over the horrid reality of war but what that war might uncover.

The bigger issue for the global community is recognizing the wisdom of the war itself. It's beginning to strike more and more people, even critics of this war, that we were right to topple this government, that nabbing Saddam in a ditch all but ditched any argument against our being there in the first place. Americans didn't say that. The delirious and happy faces of scores of flag-waving and celebrating Iraqis said that, showed that and reveled in that.

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The world is now seeing what most Iraqis have been appreciating . . . namely, a life without Saddam, without the threat of his coming back or the evil he might bring back. The U.S.-led coalition made that possible. Iraqis know that, and now the rest of the world finally is beginning to appreciate that.

It's as if the diplomatic train has left the station and clueless critics of this country are only now beginning to realize, "Hey, that's my train!"

We'd have never seen the French talking about forgiving Iraqi debt had they not realized that they look increasingly out-of-touch and out-of-step. They know full well that the tide against evil led by the United States threatens to leave them behind. They know that one of the world's most ruthless dictators has been brought down by a force greater than they can comprehend and more meaningful than they ever fathomed.

There's something to be said about seeing the good fight and not taking the call, then seeing the good results and not taking the cue. The French, Germans and Russians are all seeing the good results and taking the cue. They might still suspect more problems for coalition forces in Iraq; perhaps some are even hoping for more problems. But they know that to be part of this world of good, they must do a lot more to fight the world of bad.

They wouldn't do it with soldiers. It seems only appropriate in their wormy, obsequious and back-stabbing way that they will do it in the only manner to which they can relate . . . with money. And all this time we thought Saddam was the only guy . . . in a rat hole.

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Neil Cavuto is managing editor of Business News at FOX News Channel. He is also the host of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and "Cavuto on Business." Comment by clicking here.


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07/28/03: The meaning of a pin
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07/14/03: Don't like it, don't keep it!
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06/29/03: Who says Al's our pal?
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© 2003, Neil Cavuto