Jewish World Review April 10, 2003 / 8 Nisan, 5763

Greg Crosby

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Proud to be an American | I am so proud to be an American today. I awoke this morning to see Iraqis pulling down a 40-foot statue of Saddam Hussein in the center of Baghdad while crowds cheered and danced in the streets. Once the statue came down the crowd hammered Saddam's face with shoes and rocks and dragged the head through the city streets. I saw Iraqis smiling and giving thumbs up to American troops. I saw an Iraqi man holding a picture of President Bush which said "The Hero of the People." I saw that man kissing the photo. Contrast that with the so-called "peace protesters" here in the states who've been marching for weeks holding pictures of President Bush labeled "Hitler."

I watched the Iraqi-American community living in Dearborn, Michigan dancing in the streets, waving American flags and shouting "G-d bless America!" Contrast that with the anti-war protesters in Oakland, California who demonstrated in the streets waving American flags painted with swastikas. Seeing the hundreds of happy Iraqi-Americans waving Old Glory this morning made me so proud of my country that I just about felt as jubilant as those people pulling down the statue in Baghdad -- but not quite. No one in America could possibly feel as elated as those people must have been today.

Certainly the war is not over yet, there is much to be done. Pockets of skirmishes will erupt throughout Baghdad in the days and weeks ahead and fighting in other Iraqi cities will continue. But the dictator Saddam is no longer in power and it has now become evident to most of the citizens of Iraq that their long nightmare is coming to an end. Once people are sure that the rein of Saddam is truly over, their fears lessen and they begin to smile, wave and embrace our servicemen and women.

As towns and villages are being liberated, fresh water, food, and medical supplies are being brought in. Ironically, in some places of the country people have more access to fresh water and food now, then they had before the war even started. Infrastructures are being put into place as soon as humanly possible to insure that vital services can meet the needs of the citizens. Even now, as we are still engaged in battle with the enemy, we are feeding and caring for the Iraqi people. That's what American soldiers are doing and that's why I've never been prouder of my country and the men and women who serve in the military.

This war on Iraq is only one piece of the larger war on terror that we will continue to fight in the years ahead, but it is a significant battle. We have taken Iraq away from Saddam and we have began the process of giving it back to the Iraqi people -- people who have been living in fear and suppression for decades. People who have been tortured and are now free at last. Children who were arrested by Saddam's thugs and thrown into prisons and forced boot camps, have been found and set free by America and its coalition. These are kids who have never known what freedom means. Yes, G-d bless America. And while we're at it, G-d bless Great Briton.

And G-d bless George W. Bush. President Bush has acted out of high moral principles to lead America to do what he knew had to be done following the sneak attacks on September 11, 2001. He said then that he would do everything in his power to keep America and her citizens safe from any future terrorist attacks. He is living up to his promise. The war on terror is not over by a long shot, but the world is a little bit better today because of his moral clarity, common sense and resolve.

Evil regimes throughout the world are a little more nervous today. Maybe they'll be a little less likely to start something now -- now that they know that the United States will react to aggression with aggression and fight back. It's time for countries like Syria, Iran, Sudan, and North Korea to think long and hard before they try to pick a fight with us. It's time for other Middle Eastern dictatorships to consider cleaning out their terrorist camps and rats' nests and to stop sponsoring and supporting hate-filled Islamists. And that goes double for our "good friends" in Saudi Arabia, from which most of the 9-11 terrorists were born and raised.

Today was a good day for America. It was a very good day for Iraq. Not such a good day for America's enemies. Not such a good day for left-wing journalists, academics, entertainers, and others who have been spinning truth, and predicting the worst in this conflict. What we need are more good days like this one in the weeks, months, and years ahead as we continue our fight against evil and terrorism in the world.

Thanks to all our brave young Americans in service who have done such a great job for our country and for freedom-loving people the world over. Thanks to the brave young British soldiers and to the Polish and Australian troops who fought along side of us. And thanks to the French for proving once again that they are a completely irrelevant and obsolete society devoid of ethics and empty of principle. It's always good to know who one's enemies are. Let's hope that the French, Germans, and Russians get everything that's coming to them for all their "friendship, loyalty and moral courage."

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby