A Publication of WTVP

He refused to cooperate with 17 United Nations resolutions, but it doesn't mean Saddam Hussein had anything to hide. He massacred tens of thousands of his own people, but it doesn't mean he wanted to continue the killing or take it to other countries. Saddam funneled money to suicide bombers, but that doesn't mean he actually supported the idea of terrorism or reveled in its casualties.

No, Saddam should have been left alone-trusted to abide by the universal law of honesty and respect for human life that had already marked his tenure. At least, this is what some would have us believe today-that the U. S. would've been wiser to let a madman propelled by the love of bloodshed and the pursuit of perversion reign freely from his self-made throne of terror.

Fortunately, we have a leader who thinks differently. A leader who, after picking up the pieces of a 9/11 tragedy that rocked the ground we stand on, vowed never to let terrorists and madmen bring their destruction to our backyards again. Fortunately, our leader saw Saddam Hussein's 24 years of atrocities and disregard for global cooperation for what they were and decided not to rely on the hope that he would change his colors or spare Americans, but instead decided to take a war on terror to the terrorists.

The insanity of one of the world's sickest madmen had to be halted for the sake of security for Americans, civilians abroad, and the people of Iraq.

In Iraq, some 400,000 unidentified bodies have been, or are in the process of being, unearthed. They lie thrown together in mass graves spattered across the country-some murdered for their religion, some for their ethnicity-all murdered because their lives mattered less to their leader than the dirt that smothered them.

The weapon of mass destruction for these massacres wasn't mustard gas or a chemical agent; it was a lunatic. In a five-year span, Saddam bulldozed through 60 villages, eliminating more than 30,000 of his own people with mustard gas and nerve agents. In one year alone, he had 1,500 Iraqis executed for purely political reasons. He's buried hundreds alive, ripped tongues out of those who opposed him, and sent wives and mothers to rape rooms for punishment. Invading Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990, Saddam showed his greed for gruesome ruin didn't stop at Iraq's borders.

Today, a country has been freed from the grips of fear, a liberated people are cultivating their resources and exploring their free lands. Dictators across the globe, with their own blueprints for destruction, have been reminded that the strongest military in the world doesn't play wait-and-see.

The United States, with the backing of some 30 like-minded countries, has liberated 25 million people and made an example of Saddam Hussein.

U.S forces are handing the torch to the Iraqi people as they take control of their own resources, form an Army, build an effective police force, and develop a fair justice system. Iraqis who once fearfully followed a fluid and unwritten law now have the assurance of a fair and reliable bill of rights that ensures equality for all.

While Iraqis are experiencing a new sense of peace and security, the world is also a safer place because of Saddam's removal. As the dictator's regime toppled, Iran-a country with a history of snubbing its nose at diplomacy-took one look at Saddam's crumbled palaces and agreed to open its nuclear facilities for U.N. inspection, voluntarily suspending its uranium enrichment activities.

This is not a single-case scenario, either. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi surrendered his weapons of mass destruction program as a direct result of our actions in Iraq. He admitted as much publicly.

Even North Korea, a country whose communist dictator paralyzes surrounding countries with nuclear threats, now has the benefit of considering our actions in Iraq and the possibility of reward for cooperation before making any rash decisions.

While some skeptics continue to suggest that military action in Iraq was wrong-that preemption is never the answer, that Iraqis would have been better off left to the will of Saddam Hussein-Americans who fervently dream of never seeing another tower tumble on our soil, Spaniards who've tasted the painful reality of terror on their morning commute, and millions of others across the world who know firsthand the price of inaction share a different opinion.

While some would leave us vulnerable to terrorism at the expense of dangerous illusions, we embrace with confidence the reality of an Iraqi people who smile with optimism, a slew of dictators ready to wave the white flag rather than see their regimes obliterated, and a safer world-one without Saddam Hussein-for generations to come. IBI