“As Long as Needed Plus One Day Longer”

After the capitulation of Spain to al-Qaeda, we are immensely heartened by the stalwart and eloquent words of President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland.

After the capitulation of Spain to al-Qaeda, we are immensely heartened by the stalwart and eloquent words of President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland.

After a report that Poland was planning to withdraw from Iraq – where it commands coalition forces in the south-central region – the Polish embassy in Washington issued a statement: “Poland will not withdraw from Iraq until the mission of stabilization is successfully accomplished and counts on effective cooperation with the United States, Great Britain, Spain and other NATO and UN members states.” The statement further addressed the notion of a war begun under false pretenses, saying Saddam Hussein had “misled the world in believing that he had had the weapons of mass destruction and might use them. This was the essential reason to take up the mission in Iraq with a common strategy of multinational coalition in the war on terrorism.”

Spain didn’t get it. Poland does.

President Bush spoke today on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq:

“The war on terror is not a figure of speech. It is an inescapable calling of our generation. The terrorists are offended not merely by our policies – they are offended by our existence as free nations. No concession will appease their hatred. No accommodation will satisfy their endless demands. Their ultimate ambitions are to control the peoples of the Middle East, and to blackmail the rest of the world with weapons of mass terror. There can be no separate peace with the terrorist enemy. Any sign of weakness or retreat simply validates terrorist violence, and invites more violence for all nations. The only certain way to protect our people is by early, united, and decisive action.

“No one can argue that the Iraqi people would be better off with the thugs and murderers back in the palaces. Who would prefer that Saddam’s torture chambers still be open? Who would wish that more mass graves were still being filled? Who would begrudge the Iraqi people their long-awaited liberation? One year after the armies of liberation arrived, every soldier who has fought, every aid worker who has served, every Iraqi who has joined in their country’s defense can look with pride on a brave and historic achievement.

“We have set out to encourage reform and democracy in the greater Middle East as the alternatives to fanaticism, resentment, and terror. We’ve set out to break the cycle of bitterness and radicalism that has brought stagnation to a vital region, and destruction to cities in America and Europe and around the world. This task is historic, and difficult; this task is necessary and worthy of our efforts.

“The establishment of a free Iraq is our fight. The success of a free Afghanistan is our fight. The war on terror is our fight. All of us are called to share the blessings of liberty, and to be strong and steady in freedom’s defense. It will surely be said of our times that we lived with great challenges. Let it also be said of our times that we understood our great duties, and met them in full.”

Prime Minister Zapatero doesn’t get it. President Kwasniewski does. We think the American people get it as well.