Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2004 / 25 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

Jack Kelly

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Victory is coming | In 1864, military victory — Sherman's capture of Atlanta — presaged political victory. Without that battlefield triumph to buoy spirits, Lincoln almost certainly would have lost, as a war-weary North likely would have preferred dissolution of the Union to continued conflict.

In 2004, political victory presages military victory. The most immediate losers abroad are the terrorist thugs in Fallujah, who are about to have the hammer fall on them.

The hammer would have dropped on Fallujah in any event — Bush would have been president until January even if Kerry had won — but now al-Qaida and the Baathist remnants in the renegade town know they are going to die in vain. There will be after January no rest, no respite, no sanctuary from President Bush's relentless pursuit.

Another loser is Osama bin Laden. He was reduced to trying to influence our election with a videotape, apparently because his network was unable to pull off here the kind of terrorist atrocities that influenced the Spanish election.

There has been no successful terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001. I'm not at all certain that that would have been the case if Al Gore or John Kerry were president.

"People are telling you [this] will be the most important election of our lives," wrote former Air Force pilot and web logger Bill Whittle, a Gore supporter in 2000, a few days before the vote. "That is not true. The most important election of your lives was held on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2000. You just didn't know it. Neither did I.

"What happened on that day led to one man being in the White House these last four years, rather than the other one," Whittle said. "George W. Bush was commander in chief when we needed him most."

The war on terror is likely to outlast a second Bush term. But the president can now put us far enough down the path to victory that no future Democratic president would want — or be able — to deflect us from it.

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Now that it is clear that this tough, determined man will be in the White House for four more years, backed by a majority of the American people and solid majorities in both houses of Congress, those abroad who strew obstacles in our path are undergoing what pundits call "agonizing reassessment."

Buoyed by John Kerry's promise to reopen the kind of bilateral negotiations under which the Clinton administration paid massive bribes to North Korea to not develop nuclear weapons, while permitting North Korea to continue its weapons program in secret, North Korea walked out of six party talks with the United States, South Korea, Japan, Russia and China, and escalated its anti-American rhetoric.

But North Korea is likely to return to six-party talks on its nuclear programs now that the U.S. presidential election is over, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki Moon said, according to a South Korean news agency.

"If the United States pursues an early resumption of the six party talks, there is a chance that North Korea will respond to a resumption, considering it now has to continue dealing with the Bush administration," Ki Moon told the foreign affairs committee of the South Korean parliament in a closed door session Thursday.

European nations which tried to hobble our efforts in Iraq are striving to get back in our good graces:

"I hope your second term will provide an opportunity to reinforce the Franco-American friendship," French president Jacques Chirac wrote in a letter to Bush.

The leaders of Spain and Germany and the president of the European Union were also hastening to make nice.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said he "felt joy" at Bush's re-election.

"International terrorism gave itself the goal of not allowing the re-election of President Bush," Putin said. "Our relations in the last four years have undergone a big change, for the good of our peoples ... [Bush is] a reliable and predictable partner. He has proven to be a firm man, with a strong character, and a coherent policy."

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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