December 6, 2004
The Bush administration is committed to making sure the January 30 elections in Iraq come off as smoothly as possible.
That is why it has decided to send an additional 12,000 troops to Iraq and extend the tour of duty of some of those already there.
That's tough on many families, but the benefits of a good election will pay dividends for them and for the rest of us for generations to come.
The consequences of a bad election and more terrorism, which would surely follow a precipitous withdrawal, could be monumental.
Folks, this is war.
It isn't about getting people home by Christmas, as pleasant as that would be.
It is about winning and making our nation and people - as well as Iraq - a safer and more democratic place.
We have invested too much in lives, limbs and wealth not to make sure this election is fair and honest.
It is to our benefit and the benefit of the anti-terror effort to make sure it comes off properly.
The terrorists understand the stakes.
Fortunately, so does the president.
We can't afford to lose this one, or to let them win.
Let's do whatever it takes.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.