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Victory is so sweet.

The television images of Iraqi citizens celebrating the fall of Saddam Hussein are stirring.

Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled

I’ve been saying for years that all people yearn to be free. It’s a universal feeling. The Iraqi people were brutalized into submission. They could not have achieved their freedom without U.S. intervention.

Isn’t it ironic that in courageously defending our own country from terrorist attack we serve to liberate others.

That’s the way it always works.

In World War II, the United States was reluctantly dragged into the conflict by a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. As a result of defending ourselves, we liberated hundreds of millions of people in Europe and Asia.

Likewise, the U.S. reluctantly recognized the threat posed to its security with the surprise attack on Sept. 11, 2001. As a result of our continuing war against those who conducted that attack and supported those who executed it, we have now liberated two countries – Afghanistan and Iraq.

On Sept. 10, 2001, it would have been unthinkable that, less than two years later, Iraq and Afghanistan – two of the most repressive regimes in the world – would be toppled.

There were many naysayers along the way. My guess is that most of them are celebrating the joyous events in Iraq today along with the rest of us.

Remember how we were told the Arab and Muslim world would be aflame if we undertook this mission? Remember how we were told an attack on Iraq would breed resentment against the U.S. and the West? Remember how we were told Iraqis would resist?

The only demonstrations I saw yesterday were jubilant rallies by Arabs in the streets of Baghdad and by Arab-Americans in the streets of the USA.

God bless those brave fighting men who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom in Iraq. God bless them for having courage and faith. God bless them for carrying out this righteous mission.

Today, there is fear and trepidation in Damascus and Tehran. Today, the enemies of freedom from Pyongyang to Beirut have something to think about. Today, there is renewed hope for others around the world that they, too, like the Iraqis and the Afghanis, will someday soon breathe the sweet air of liberty.

There are so many lessons to be learned from this experience:

  • We don’t need the United Nations to act decisively in our national interest and in the interest of others desperate for liberation;

  • We don’t need to be handcuffed by unwilling allies when our national security interests are at stake;

  • We don’t need to fear the reaction of our enemies before acting – they will respect us if we act;

  • We don’t need to beg and bribe other nations to join our coalitions;

This is a day of celebration. It’s a day to rejoice. It’s a day to thank God for His mercy on us and His children in Iraq. It’s a day to rest before we look to the new challenges ahead of us.

Congratulations, America. You have done it again. Your hard work, your sacrifice, your determination has won the day. You have selflessly acted to help yet another people under the thumb of a brutal tyrant.

There’s much work ahead, but it can wait a day.

Celebrate! Praise God! This is a great day in our history and a great day in the history of the people of the Middle East and the people of the world. It’s a day reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s a day reminiscent of the liberation of Paris. It’s a day reminiscent of the toppling of the Taliban.

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