[Published in The Washington Times on March 18, 2003]
As war looms, I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for the privilege of being an American at a moment when the world is challenged by tyrants and terror, and my country has stepped forward to bear the burdens and pay the price of defending freedom.
I am thankful for a president who suffers slings and arrows for steadfastly opposing evil, while other more sophisticated statesmen continue to appease one of the cruelest monsters of our time.
I am thankful for a man who understands, unlike his predecessor, that leadership is lonely and that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
I am thankful for the U.S. military, not for the United Nations or any other international organization, for it is the men and women of America's armed forces who will be the guardians of civilization as we have known it.
I am thankful for their bravery, skills and sacrifice, which betray greater courage and character than all of the screams and sloganeering from Hollywood's stars and protesters, who understand little, and risk even less in demonstrating against them.
I am thankful for our military that aims, with purpose and precision, to destroy the enemy but spare innocent lives, even as our enemies plot to poison, murder and maim as many innocent men, women and children as they can.
I am thankful for allies like Great Britain, Spain and Australia, and as I will remember their loyalty, I will not forget the betrayal of our faithless, former friends.
I am thankful for the Coalition of the Willing, a mighty force for good that, through victory in Iraq, can bring the promise of freedom, dignity and a better life to millions in bondage who have known nothing but poverty, torture and pain.
And, finally, I am thankful for an almighty God who, over the course of human history, has cast his favor and blessings upon people consumed not by hatred and evil, but by a sincere quest for truth, freedom and love.
Bently Elliott, director of White House Speechwriting under President Reagan, currently works in the private sector.