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Jewish World Review Sept. 10, 2003 / 13 Elul, 5763

David Limbaugh

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Quit undermining president Bush and get on board in this war on terror | While it is apparently important for President Bush's critics to characterize his Sunday night speech as "an important turn in his administration's approach to Iraq," it was no such thing.

Democrats and the major media, after being wrong on just about everything concerning the war, would love to show that the difficulties we are now experiencing in Iraq somehow vindicate their naysaying and discredit President Bush. But no matter what happens, nothing is going to change the fact that they were extraordinarily and consistently wrong.

And, contrary to their premature triumphalism, President Bush has no egg on his face concerning Iraq. But that isn't stopping his critics.

They are saying that Bush spoke too soon in May when declaring a military victory in Iraq. As I see it, the president was precisely correct in that declaration. We had won a decisive victory. The objective was to change the despotic, murderous regime of Saddam Hussein, and we accomplished it unequivocally.

The fact that since that time terrorists both inside and outside that defeated regime have been committing postwar acts of terror with increasing frequency against our troops does not alter the reality of our victory.

Think of it this way: We won the war, and now terrorists of all stripes, united by a common goal of thwarting the United States and democracy, are trying to reverse our victory. That's what terrorists do. That is their reason for being.

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It is not as if we are still fighting a sovereign nation that has refused to surrender, like Japan before the end of World War II. The terrorists occupy no real estate in Iraq beyond the moments they skip through on their way to their next act of mayhem. They have no control over Iraq's infrastructure. They have no input in its new government. They have no fixed base of command. They are just roving disruptors and murderers.

And the critics' charge that Bush made Iraq "a central front in the war on terror" is exceedingly spurious. Of course the terrorists are going to gravitate to any area where they can further their goals.

The idea that we could prevent all terrorism on Iraqi soil following the war is insultingly ludicrous. Until you kill everyone who values our destruction more than they do their own lives, you won't entirely eliminate acts of terrorism in Iraq or anywhere else in the world. Ask Israel.

The critics are also saying Bush has changed his tune on the cost of the war and the requirements for sacrifice. Nonsense. You just can't satisfy the critics. They pilloried Bush when he refused to predict the "unknowable," and now that he has made an educated estimate of $87 billion based on our recent experience, they excoriate him for spending too much.

Nor is the president changing his tune about the desirability of United Nations' participation. From day one he has been falsely accused of unilateralism because he didn't get the final blessing of the United Nations or other nations. But the fact is, he tried - repeatedly. The U.N. refused, despite Saddam's repeated violations of its resolutions.

That the U.N. chose to side with tyranny over liberation is a reason for it to apologize, not the United States or President Bush. Bush's decision to go forward despite the inexcusable intransigence of the U.N. and our so-called allies in Europe does not mean he's a unilateralist, but a leader who places the best interests of America over our international popularity.

Besides, the idea of requesting U.N. participation in the postwar effort is nothing new. The administration has talked about that from the outset. We are not asking it to do the dirty work, just to support our humanitarian efforts to procure sovereignty and peace for the Iraqi people. Isn't that the very thing the United Nations is supposed to do?

Why aren't our critics focusing their vitriol on the shameful United Nations? Answer: because that would make Bush look good.

Finally, Bush has nothing to apologize for with respect to the lack of proper postwar planning, if by that it is meant that we should have been able specifically to foresee all of the desperate acts of sabotage by terrorists to disrupt the new regime. No one - not even the omniscient Bush-haters - can predict the unpredictable.

We all realize that it's campaign season, but surely some things are more important than partisan politics. Isn't it time for Democrats and the mainstream media to quit undermining president Bush and get on board in this war on terror?

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David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of the just-released exposť about corruption in the Clinton-Reno Justice Department, "Absolute Power." Send your comments to him by clicking here.