We have support

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2003

When President Bush gave Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein an ultimatum to leave Iraq within 48 hours on Monday night, no one actually believed Hussein would heed President Bush's warning. But we could still hope.

Today is the deadline for Hussein to leave Iraq or face the mighty force of the United States military leading a coalition of 30 other nations.

According to Secretary of State Colin Powell, most of the nations assisting in the coalition would not necessarily have a combat role, but instead, allow the placement of troops on their soil and provide assistance in a post-war Iraq.

Thirty-one countries all agree that change must happen in Iraq in order for the world to be a more stable place. If that's not close to the will of the world, then we're not sure we know exactly what the will of the world could be.

Most of the countries willing to lend support to the U.S.-led effort are countries with a past history of being ruled by tyrants - the people who completely understand what freedom is and how much it is worth fighting for.

Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Uzbekistan - notice the pattern. All countries that were part of the former Soviet Eastern Bloc, countries, for the most part, with a new-found freedom. Countries that have themselves fallen victim to dictatorships, but have struggled and found the meaning of freedom. Now, we must take the support of these countries and use it to assist the people of Iraq. They too have the desire to taste freedom and we must do everything in our power to ensure they have that opportunity.

A war, however, is never the method of choice for achieving peace. In fact, a war for peace is itself an oxymoron. But sadly enough in this case, it appears the only way to achieve that peace.

For many people, supporters and detractors of President Bush's position, one of the key factors has been global support. Now, we have it. We must use it. But, don't think the United States could not have won the war without help. We could. And, rather handily at that.

However, it is important for the U.S. to have the support of other nations with similar views in order to reassure the Iraqi people and the global community we are not acting as the aggressor in this war, but instead, we are as the most powerful nation on the globe, the defenders of freedom and those who seek freedom.

We learned that very valuable lesson in history in high school, and again in college, it's not that we are the enforcer of freedom, but instead, we are the defenders of freedom, and as such, it is our role, as the richest and most powerful nation, to defend the freedom that others so desperately seek to have.