The reward for persistance and purpose

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I don't suppose that this time there will be any banners hung within television camera range reading "Mission Accomplished." But we also must not let some of the elite Left belittle the capture of Saddam Hussein over the weekend and, by extension, our national leaders.

"Good riddance. The world is better off without you, Mr. Saddam Hussein," President George W. Bush said Monday during a session with reporters.

The world, by contrast, is a much better place because of the American soldiers who did their job -- an extremely dangerous, low-paying and too-often-thankless one -- and finally found Saddam hiding in an underground chamber eight months after the world's greatest manhunt began. The world is also a much better place when nations such as the U.S. decide to stick with a mission despite negative press and international hand-wringing and accomplish a goal.

This weekend's news won't bring peace to Iraq. It won't cause the money trail helping prompt suicide bombings and other attacks against American and coalition forces to dry up overnight. It won't quiet critics who still worry that any cost is too high in a 21st century conflict.

The cost, in terms of husbands, sons, brothers and friends who did not -- and likely others who will not -- return home safely from Iraq is terrible. But try telling Iraqis who watched mass graves dug, with summary executions a regular occurance, as if this was all perfectly acceptable, that the cost of deposing a tyrant is not worth it.

The drama of Saddam Hussein is far from over. The world will look on now as we try to make good on our promise to try Saddam "in a way that will withstand international scrutiny." Both the president and prominent Democrats including Ike Skelton of the 4th Congressional District seem to be very interested in ensuring the Iraqi people play a large role in whatever trial Saddam faces. That is a welcome way to ward off criticism from Arab states, among others.

In this current war, we have gone much farther into Iraq, stayed much longer and paid a much higher price in lives than we did a decade ago. Hopefully now Americans, and the rest of the world, will understand that actual accomplishment of a mission doesn't come without patience, persistance and purpose.

An Iraqi was quoted in an Internet blog site as saying this about Saddam's capture: "I don't know what to say I am confused no I am very happy. I am very happy. I am very happy. I am very happy. I am very happy. I am very happy. I am very happy. This is the end of tyranny. Congratulations a great day for Iraqi and all the good people share us our great day. I can't express my feelings. Thanks to the coalition forces and all the honest people who helped in that great operation thank you thank you thousand times."

It couldn't have been said better.