“The chicken has come home to roost,” many critics of America’s Cold War policies say. “The citizens of the world have had enough of America meddling in their business. We had it coming.”

While imperfect, the United States’ Cold War policies carried out, overall, a poetic execution of the Evil Empire by some of the most brilliant minds in the Land of the Free.

Through the support of revolutionary regimes across the globe, we were able to defeat an ideology that was responsible for the murder of 100 million people worldwide – a toll that surpasses the Nazi death-camp total by leaps and bounds. Because we were able to outmaneuver the Soviet Union in nearly every satellite regime, the world has been rid of the most oppressive form of government ever seen.

Saying we deserved what we got on Sept. 11 means forgetting that because of our Cold War policies, countries around the globe are now freer than ever to choose the style of government they desire. It took heroes like Ronald Reagan to confront Communism at all costs.

Today it takes heroes like those in New York and Washington to defeat terrorism.

If this means trekking into Afghanistan and training their men to defend themselves, then so be it. No one is ever going to tell me that in the grand scheme of things, thousands upon thousands of American lives won’t be saved. If the Soviet Union had been allowed to continue, we would have risked a real World War III.

The 5,000 Americans no longer with us should be viewed as martyrs for people worldwide who oppose oppression. Right alongside President Reagan, they too need to be credited with ending Communist tyranny. Yes, our casualties did come late, but I imagine that if put in this perspective, our martyrs would be proud to be counted among the honorable people who gave their lives for liberty’s sake.

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