Ten lessons

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Wall Street Journal December 17, 2003 Pg. 22

Ten Lessons

By Dennis Prager

Ten lessons from Saddam Hussein's capture:

1. America is the greatest force for good on the planet. America, with the support of Britain and some other countries, and against the rest of "world opinion," liberated Iraq from evil. If it were up to the U.N. or the EU, or the editorial boards of most major American newspapers, Saddam would still be happily making palaces for himself and torture dungeons for his people.

2. The positive effect on humanity of good vanquishing evil cannot be overstated. When evil people get away with what they have done, it has a dispiriting effect. Even those of us who believe that a just God dispenses justice after this life ache to see justice done here and now. In this regard, it is not only good that Saddam was captured; it is good that he lived in holes, and aware that his sadistic sons had been killed. It is nice to know that he has been suffering.

3. No Muslim or Arab country lifted a finger to help the Iraqi people. This is because the Muslim and Arab worlds do not divide the world between good and evil, but between Muslim and non-Muslim and Arab and non-Arab. Since Saddam was a fellow Muslim and Arab, the fact that he tortured and murdered so many was as irrelevant to the Muslim and Arab worlds as the Islamic regime's genocide in Sudan and the subjugation of women in Taliban Afghanistan.

4. Not everyone is happy about Saddam's capture. Palestinians, for example, are weeping. Saddam was their hero. Iraqis were forced to march with his posters, but Palestinians did so voluntarily. Many on the Left are also not particularly happy. Saddam's capture is a victory for American force and for George W. Bush, and the Left hates both more than it hates Saddam.

5. The Left seeks power, but is incapable of leading because leadership and wanting to be loved are mutually exclusive. Leftists, including liberal politicians, want to be loved and want America to be loved. That was President Clinton's great desire, and that is why, with all his abundant talents, he could never lead. Much of the Left's criticism of Mr. Bush revolves around this issue: "Look at how popular we were right after 9/11 and how unpopular we are now."

6. Most of the Left does not hate evil; hatred of evil is primarily found on the Right. With exceptions such as Tony Blair and Joseph Lieberman, virtually the entire Left finds evil far less disturbing than global warming, smoking, economic inequality, and drug prices. And with the exceptions of "paleoconservatives" such as Pat Buchanan, most of the Right regards the use of American power to vanquish evil as the greatest good the U.S. can engage in.

7. In the Arab world, power is venerated. For years leading up to 9/11, Islamists were respected for their increasing power and America was losing respect as it suffered blows at the hands of Islamic terror. Now America is seen as the powerful one, and is earning the respect once accorded Saddam and Osama. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

8. There are many who respect goodness above all else. But humanity as a whole has far more respect for power, and takes powerful societies more seriously than good ones. That is why China is respected despite its being a dictatorship and its brutal crushing of Tibet. China is powerful. The stronger America is, the more people will take it and its values seriously. As an unprecedented combination of power and goodness, America could reshape the world.

9. The Marxist belief that forces, not individuals, shape history is wrong. George W. Bush is living proof.

10. The reason the president is shaping history is that he has as strong a set of beliefs -- in America's moral mission and in Judeo-Christian religious values -- as those he is fighting. Those who hold bad beliefs can only be defeated by those have equally strong good beliefs.

Mr. Prager, a radio talk show host, is author of "Why the Jews?" (Touchstone, 2003).

-- Anonymous, December 17, 2003


I agree that Mr. Bush has a strong set of beliefs; yet it is sad that those beliefs are not back by CHRISTIAN VALUES; and at the same time they are not inclusive of all Americans; nor do those beliefs exhibit those CHRISTIAN VALUES - SUCH AS LOVE AND GOOD WILL TOWARD YOUR FELLOW MAN.

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2003

The only stronge beliefs George Bush has, is giving tax breaks to the rich, and sending our sons and daughters to another country to fight a type of enemy that he was not man enough to do in his youth.

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2003

So you guys are dissappointed Saddam Hussein is out of power?

-- Anonymous, December 21, 2003

No, we're dissapointed George Bush is in power

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2003

But he did a good thing by removing an evil dictator. Right?

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2003

"The only stronge beliefs..."

I 'strongely' believe that you are not very smart.

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2003

I'm sorry, that last transmission was garbled.

Would you prefer Saddam to still be in power?

-- Anonymous, December 24, 2003

Evil is Evil and Sin is Sin. Be it in Iraqi or America. Both persons should be removed from positions of authority/Power and they will be held accountable before God.

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2004

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