The peaceniks would lead one to think that President Bush acted entirely alone in taking on Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. They seem to think that Americans should have listened to the Europeans and the United Nations members, who supported Saddam for what appear to be strong financial reasons, and at the expense of Americans. In all of their comments on President Bush’s actions, they exclude the lessons of history.

President Bush followed what he knew, based on history, to be the right path. Violent dictators like Saddam only get worse if not checked. In the past hundred years, we found this out the hard way in World War I and World War II. Had we not gone to war to stop the Japanese and German dictators, they would have been here on our doorstep just as the terrorists were on 9/11.

If we had not stopped the Russian dictator Joseph Stalin during the Cold War, the whole world might have become communist. We paid a big price in Korea and Vietnam, but, without these efforts, the results may have been worse. Our Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine were peaceful ways of stopping the spread of communism, but war was also necessary.

Just like Saddam, these dictators murdered millions of people. History has shown over and over that we must confront them. President Clinton did not do this, and we got 9/11. President Bush, with the help and support of millions of Americans, is doing the right thing by stopping the terrorist dictators now. It takes courage and leadership to stand up and fight; that is what President Bush has shown he has, and millions support him. I can’t believe for one minute that Kerry will do better. He could, however, damage our effectiveness in dealing with terrorism and undermine the morale of our troops, who deserve our support and respect.

Pacifists were opposed to all of the wars, but, in the review of history, they have been proven wrong.

Justin Ruhge is a Lompoc resident.