I tuned in to Fox News earlier today to see a John Kerry campaign speech about the “war on terrorism.” After a eulogy for American soldiers (“I speak from experience” the notorious peacenik said) he said that a new policy in the war on terrorism was needed so that “their deaths are not in vain.” This is “a turning point in American foreign policy” he said, “a chance to show the world that we want their respect, not fear” and “a spirit of cooperation, not unilateralism.”

A few hours later, I went the Fox News website to read that Jassim Mohammed Saleh, a former general in Saddam’s National Guard, led Iraqi troops in his old army uniform today as they replaced U.S. Marines in Fallujah. Meanwhile, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has organized a militia in Najaf responsible for many of the 738 American and 1,200 Iraqi deaths. He has found refuge from our soldiers in mosques and “has gone freely back and forth to nearby Kufa every Friday for the noon prayers for the past three weeks.” A cease-fire restrained our troops for weeks, while the “insurgents” continued their attacks.

As I read about what was is happening in Iraq, I reflected on how wonderful it would be if Kerry’s accusations were true – if the goal of the Bush administration was to unilaterally instill fear in our enemies. The sad reality is that the opposite is true – we are “cooperating” with our opponents, holding back our forces, asking the UN for leadership and begging other nations to send in their forces.

Despite Kerry’s campaign promises, our reward has not been their “respect,” but a growing number of brazen fanatics who cheer at the moral weakness of their enemy and do not hesitate to attack our soldiers and the values we hold sacred – the lives of innocent civilians. In the bizzaro world of post 9/11, the leftist’s most scathing vilifications are precisely what we most urgently need, and the conservative’s most sincere justifications are the cause of our failures.