Monday, October 18, 2004

Donald Rumsfeld: History Is On Our Side

Donald Rumsfeld has an excellent article in today's Australian. He states that despite the setbacks we face, the world is in a much better place now than it was before September 11th:

That lesson has had to be relearned throughout the ages: the lesson that weakness is provocative, that a refusal to confront gathering dangers can increase, not reduce, future peril and that victory ultimately comes only to those who are purposeful and steadfast.

From the outset of this conflict, it was clear that our coalition had to go on the offensive against an enemy without country or conscience.

A little over three years ago, al-Qa'ida was already a growing danger. Its leader, Osama bin Laden, was safe and sheltered in Afghanistan. His network was dispersed throughout the world and had been attacking US interests for years.

Three years later, more than three-quarters of al-Qa'ida's key members and associates have been detained or killed, bin Laden is on the run, many of his key associates are behind bars or dead and his financial lines of support have been reduced.

Afghanistan, once controlled by extremists, today is led by Hamid Karzai, who is at the forefront of the world's efforts in support of moderates versus extremists. Soccer stadiums once used for public executions under the Taliban are today used, once again, for soccer.

Libya has gone from being a nation that sponsored terrorists, and secretly sought nuclear capability, to one that renounced its illegal weapons programs, and now says it is ready to re-enter the community of civilised nations.

Pakistani scientist AQ Khan's nuclear-proliferation network – which provided lethal assistance to nations such as Libya and North Korea – has been exposed and dismantled. Indeed, Pakistan, once sympathetic to al-Qa'ida and the Taliban, has under President Pervez Musharraf cast its lot with the civilised world and is a stalwart ally against terrorism.

NATO is now leading the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and is helping to train Iraqi security forces. The United Nations is helping set up free elections in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Over 60 countries are working together to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Three years ago, in Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his sons brutally ruled a nation in the heart of the Middle East. Saddam was attempting regularly to kill US and British air crews enforcing the no-fly zones. He ignored 17 UN Security Council resolutions.

Three years later, Saddam is a prisoner, awaiting trial. His sons are dead. Most of his associates are in custody.

Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration understand the epic nature of th struggle in which we are now engaged. They understand that securing America from the threat of Islamofacist terror is not an easy or short term proposition. They also understand that America will and must lead the effort to spread liberty throughout the Middle-East, however unpopular it may be at certain times with certain countries.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.