…to all of our readers.
2003 was not an easy year, but on the whole it was a good year. It was, of course, a huge year for Power Line, and for that we are grateful to all who have taken the trouble to click on our site. There are good reasons to hope, I think, that next year will be better still.
The last word on 2003 goes to Ralph Peters:
“Even if terrorists attack our homeland before the stroke of midnight, 2003 will still have been a year of remarkable progress on every front in the global War on Terror – and the greatest year for freedom since the Soviet Union’s collapse.
“A decisive government in Washington, backed by the courage and common sense of the American people, worked with allies around the world to carry the fight to the terrorists’ home ground. We continued to seize the strategic initiative from the most implacable enemies America has ever faced. Unless we choose to defeat ourselves, there is no chance of a final terrorist victory.
“In 2003, a new generation of enemies learned that America not only fights ferociously, but follows through with tremendous residual power. In one of history’s great paradoxes, the provocation of 9/11 – intended to humble us – unleashed our dormant might and rejuvenated the historical trend toward liberty. The Twin Towers fell, but two years later America towers over the world as never before.
“The stunning campaign that took our troops to Baghdad in just three weeks made it clear to the world that no other state or combination of powers can oppose us militarily and left us with the most experienced, combat-proven forces of our time.
“Our president’s courageous decision to target Saddam himself while sparing innocent Iraqis upset the traditional rules of warfare, according to which the draftees die while the ruler survives by signing a peace treaty.
“Our president had the sound instincts to realize that you can’t treat the deep cancer of terrorism with a topical salve. Apprehending terrorists isn’t enough. Meaningful treatment of this long-untended disease requires radical surgery and great risk.
“The administration’s resolve to force change in the Middle East was as crucial as it was courageous. We can’t force Iraqis – or anyone else – to succeed, but we’ve done what no others have dared: We’ve given tens of millions of long-oppressed human beings a chance to live in freedom.
“Not every result will please us. We will not turn broken states into little Americas overnight. Each culture has its own strengths and weaknesses. But we’re making a noble effort to help the wretched of the earth make their societies better.
“Perfection belongs to God. Progress is the best that humans can do.
“Yet 2004 is going to be a year of decision in the War on Terror. As our presidential election approaches, the terrorists remaining at large will sacrifice their last reserves in an effort to dislodge President Bush, freedom’s great crusader, from the White House.
“The terrorists will seek to convince American voters that the War on Terror is failing, paving the way for the electoral victory of a weakling and allowing them to surge back into vacuums created by an American retreat.
“Their last, desperate hope will be to hit us so hard that we elect a coward in place of a hero.
“I’m betting on American guts. And glory.”
And so are we. Happy New Year.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell