We Will Follow

A fine speech.

Economic, civil and intellectual freedom: I enthusiastically support nearly all of President Bush's domestic agenda but as the day goes, there's a war on.

The president's singling out terror-master despots in Iran and Syria was a bold and welcome stroke, his declaration of solidarity with Iranian democrats a broader message to all those in bondage. His message to Hosni Mubarak, asking the Egyptian dictator to "lead the way to democracy," while invoking the diplomacy of Anwar Sadat that today earns Cairo $2 billion annually from the United States, was no less than an ultimatum: there will soon be no place for tyrants, nor alliances that run against both conscience and circumstance. When Bush spoke of liberty stretching from "Damascus to Tehran," he removed any doubt that each capital's dictatorship will pay dearly and justly for oppressing millions within borders and murdering thousands without, in the nascent democracy lying between.

Redeemed beyond doubt through the first empowerment by consent of its own people, Iraq deserved the loudest, longest applause — and received it. Three times. The third standing ovation lasted for a gracious eternity, as the parents of a fallen United States Marine embraced an Iraqi woman whom their son had helped save.

The last word to the Commander-in-Chief: "The road of Providence is uneven and unpredictable yet we know where it leads: It leads to freedom."

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