Parting Thoughts on Seven Historic Days

General Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the axiom that battlefield boldness produces swift and relatively bloodless victory.

The three-week swing through Iraq defied skeptics' worst fears: Saddam's forces never fired a weapon of mass destruction. Desperate Iraqi fighters didn't kill ten thousand Americans, as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi warned just last week.

The Arab street stands silent and empty, as former protesters have stopped yelling and started donating money to newly freed Iraq.

President Bush took a giant risk in waging this war, but he believed determined action might unlock breathtaking possibilities. He was right. Saddam fell. Arab pro-democracy movements now are sprouting, like crocuses poking through the spring soil.

Today, Israel offered to remove settlements from the West Bank, paving the way to a secure peace -- and obliterating the demagogic use of Palestinians by Islamic killers.

In moving boldly in behalf of principle, the president proclaimed to the world that it's safe to demand freedom, democracy and individual dignity.

As a result, the past historic week unlocked the pent-up yearnings of a watching world. None of the skeptics even dared to consider that possibility.