The White House's new national security strategy is strikingly blunt.

It serves notice that President Bush is serious about promoting freedom, on the theory that free democracies are much more peaceable than dictatorships and monarchies. The document also is unapologetically moral in tone. The president takes a direct slap at moral relativism -- the theory that there's no absolute right and wrong, only what certain civilizations define as such -- by observing that basic principles are, "right and true for all people everywhere."

He's correct.

The world too often has ignored genocide and mass slaughter on the theory that we can't judge others. Tens of millions perished in 20th century death camps, while great nations primly covered their eyes.

Well, we can't afford blindness anymore. We know of thousands of thugs who loathe liberty and love death and who would love to annihilate Western civilization. They will not go away, so the world will have to choose between their vision, and the way of freedom.

We didn't start this fight, but we certainly have to finish it.