Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Iraq is to the war on terror what West Berlin was to the Cold War — freedom's hope in a sea of totalitarian despair.

To secure freedom's newest beachhead, the war on terror requires the same steely bipartisan resolve that led us to victory in the Cold War, in the leadership tradition of Presidents Truman, Kennedy and Reagan...

One only wishes Kerry's and Kennedy's condemnation of terrorism were as fierce, and that they were as interested in winning the war on terror as in winning the presidency in the fall. Presidencies, after all, last not more than eight years, and the war on terror surely has years to run.

In March of 1948, when the Soviets encircled free Berlin in an effort to make the West flinch, Democratic President Harry Truman stood firm. Instead of seeking a hollow peace, he engineered the Berlin Airlift that fed a vanquished former foe, buying it precious time to establish freedom's roots, despite an America weary from the ravages of war.

At personal political risk and at the cost of American lives, Truman established freedom's Eastern European beachhead in Berlin. Today, Berlin is the capital city of a thriving, peace-loving democracy — a prospect that took faith to envision in the dark days following World War II. At the time, many doubted whether Germans were capable of democracy, and Truman's resolve gave freedom room to breathe.

In Iraq today, Bush faces an uncannily similar situation.

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