I've said it before and I'll say it again: I've been against wars before, and I might very well be against them again.

But just to be straight on this one — I'm for this war.

I'm not for our guys dying and I have a terrible time saying it comes with the territory, that in wars soldiers die but it's true. Tragic in the cases of the individual young men, but true.

But here's what they died for — same as World War II: We were attacked by an enemy that wanted to attack us over and over on our homeland. They want to destroy us and we have to destroy them first. So in that situation — shall we call it a non-elective war — a required course, then I am for the war.

I am less enthusiastic about wars for made up reasons, or wars for foggier political reasons. This one is crystal clear and so, once again, in my view, this is one of our better wars.

Eight or nine or ten soldiers dead is terrible. It could go higher. We hope not, but it could.

And I hope the families of these volunteer soldiers understand that they evidently understood they were putting their lives on the line and that we should regard them as heroes to a cause that is true and just.

We were attacked. This is when you use your soldiers and sailors and airmen. That's why we have a military.

We don't keep people under arms to expand our territory or to expropriate treasure, though there are times I think we should, like the oil fields of Saudi, but that's another conversation.

This one is about the eight who died yesterday and the ones who will die in the next few days as this fight continues.

It is a direct extension of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and because it is, the fighting men of the United States are performing in the highest and most honorable of traditions and we should all salute them.

Now does that mean Tom Daschle has no right to question the conduct of the war? No. He has a right. I just don't think he asked the right questions, or did it at the right time. Just as the men are jumping out of choppers into live fire, that's not a good time to start piping up about the cost, nor is it a good time to start carping about where's Usama.

Other than that, the soldiers are fighting for his right to speak, so he should.

Just be careful, Tom.

That's My Word.

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