The fall of the Communism ushered in a new peace and security for Eastern Europe and much of the world. As the Soviet bear was finally brought down by the courageous actions of people like Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel, millions celebrated their newfound freedoms. Despite many setbacks the past ten years have seen the quality of life and personal freedoms of the former Soviet bloc expand greatly. Even more importantly, the gross violations of human rights that once scarred the Soviet bloc fell like the statues of Stalin and Lenin.
The left, the ones who had been arguing for accommodation of the Soviets, soon found themselves on the wrong side of history. The horrors of Communism and the delight of the newly freed people of the Soviet bloc proved the "dangerous" and "destablizing" actions of Ronald Reagan to have been the most moral path.
Now, is appears as though history is repeating itself once again.
The left has argued that President Bush has been pushing the "dangerous" and "destabilizing" of unilateral action against Iraq. (Never mind the fact that Bush’s "coalition of the willing" included nearly 40 nations from the United Kingdom to Qatar.)
The international order as represented by the UN is not an intrinsic good. It has not produced peace, instead it has served as a hall of self-aggrandizement and obstructionism where the arrogance of Dominique de Villepin takes precedence over the need to take strong action over a thug like Saddam Hussein. The value of the UN is not in preserving the UN itself, but in creating a more peaceful world, and the old system no longer serves that purpose.
The left was on the wrong side of history in the Cold War, and they are on the wrong side of history now. As Reagan’s "dangerous" confrontation of the Soviet Union created a more peaceful world and increased human rights, so too will confrontation of the evils of militant Islamic fundamentalism lead to increased human rights and a better standard of living through the Arab world.
Peace is not obtained through inaction, it is obtained solely through the vigourous pursuit of justice. The destruction of the cancerous regime of Saddam Hussein is a great stride towards a more peaceful world. While war may be a distasteful option, it has become clear that even a disarmed Saddam Hussein would have left millions under the thumb of tyranny. That is neither a moral nor a particularly strategic option for the world community.
Yet the left has made it clear that this conflict would not be in their name. As they try to take claim to the freedom now spreading across Iraq, those of us who supported liberation from the start should hold them to that statement.