Liberals in Washington are in denial. On a near daily basis they question the justification for America having gone to war to oust Saddam while accusing our commander-in-chief of lying to the country.
To hear them tell it, the Bush Administration toppled the Iraqi regime for political gain. What they don't want to accept is the fact that our President used conviction rather than political motivation to guide him to disarm the Iraqi threat.
The idea that President Bush would deploy over 130,000 American men and women in uniform to Iraq just to further his political standing is absolutely ridiculous.
For anyone following the events since the attacks of 9/11/01, it is clear that the Administration could have limited its anti-terror efforts to Afghanistan and faced only relatively small, continued political opposition here at home. That would have been the easier "political" move. It would not have been enough to avoid future terrorist threats, but it seems many Democrats, especially those running for president, can't see that far.
The American people expect their President to be a statesman -- one who ultimately puts the good of the nation ahead of his own political interests.
That sometimes means you have to make tough decisions, not safe, political ones. In times of war -- and America is indeed at war -- our national leaders must place the security of our country above all else. While great strides have been made here at home to avert the direct terrorist threat to our citizens, it is terribly naive to assume that America can let her guard down overseas.
Our President made it clear after 9/11 that any nation aiding Al Qaeda and other terrorists hostile toward the United States would be against us and therefore liable.
Iraq occupied a unique position among such nations.
For not only was it harboring and assisting Al Qaeda, it was also actively working on programs to generate weapons of mass destruction that could have been used by both the Iraqi regime as well as Al Qaeda terrorists.
As a senior member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, and as someone who has personally traveled in Iraq, I can tell you that Saddam's regime did pose a growing threat to America.
Its leaders were involved in planning the 1993 World Trade Center attacks, were allowing top Al Qaeda like Abu Musab Al Zarqawi to operate chemical weapons factories and terrorist cells in Iraq, and were secretly working to create lethal weapons in direct violation of United Nations' resolutions.
Saddam was given ample time to show evidence that his government was not a menace, yet he chose to ignore our warnings and deceive U.N. inspectors while continuing to allow Al Qaeda a safe haven.
America had no choice but to remove the threat he posed.
As President Bush stated: "I was not about to stand by and wait and trust in the restraint of Saddam Hussein."
Subsequent U.S. inspections of Iraq already show evidence of hidden biological weapons labs, Iraqi efforts to destroy evidence of their weapons of mass destruction program, and plans to purchase banned missiles from North Korea.
President Bush acted in the best interest of the American people in taking action against Saddam's regime. We are safer at home now and hopefully in the future because of such preemptive action.
As Secretary of State Colin Powell put it: "Hussein would have stopped at nothing until something stopped him. It's a good thing that we did."
Since the death of over 3,000 innocent civilians on American soil, it should be clear that the war on terror will either be fought in the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq or here at home.