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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Written in Courage

President Bush spoke to the National Defense University today about the Middle East. (transcript here.) The entire speech is well worth reading but I'd like to focus on his final lines:

Before history is written in books, it is written in courage: the courage of honorable soldiers, the courage of oppressed peoples, the courage of free nations in difficult tasks. Our generation is fortunate to live in a time of courage, and we are proud to serve in freedom's cause.
There has been quite a stir on the left side of the blogosphere about war supporter's triumphalism and how much (or little) of the credit for positive developments in the Middle East belongs to George Bush and the Iraq war. There have also been, and rightfully so, voices reminding us that positive developments are not victory and success is far from certain. However, although I support Bush's policies and believe they have been necessary for the successes we are seeing in the Middle East they alone are not sufficient for success. Our soldiers bravery has been astounding, their sacrifice immense, and their success critical, yet that alone would do nothing to create the brave new world we are seeing a promise of now. The one critical piece, the piece whose absence would make all other victories futile and whose presence makes any other failure only temporary, is the courage and will of the oppressed people of the world. The heroes, who are daily writing history with their courage are the people of Afghanistan, the Ukraine, Iraq, Labanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and many other places. They deserve the lion's share of the credit and the admiration of all of us who have the luxury and comfort to sit safely behind a computer screen and pontificate about world events. I believe that we should all, of whatever political stripe, strongly express our support and admiration for those people who at great risk are spreading freedom and liberating their countries. Deny Bush credit if you wish, but support the people who long for freedom.


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