Australia's breathtaking victory

In states that export terrorists, tyrants in moribund certainty know there's no need to be accountable to citizens so long as they hold power.

But not so in the West, where leaders are put to the electoral test. It's particularly poignant for the Coalition of the Willing, all three of whose leading members — Howard, Bush and Blair — face close elections. Would their publics support them, as the antiwar movement and Axis of Weasels insist they wouldn't?

So all the world watched intently as the first test was given in Australia and the results rolled in Saturday morning. The resounding victory for Prime Minister John Howard was the people's verdict on the war on terror, the rightness of staying the course, and the necessity of victory.

Bear in mind that Howard's test was a bruising one and whether he would win was uncertain. Howard had to stand up to different varieties of opponents who criticized battlefield losses in Iraq, launched loud antiwar demonstrations, blew up the embassy in Jakarta, and insulted him from capitulation states like the Philippines and Spain. To terrorists in particular, he looked like an easy takedown mark. But Howard didn't waver. And his resounding victory, 52.5—47.5, was a message to his nation's enemies that the Pacific's steadiest ship wasn't for turning.

Some media reports claim Howard won because Australia's economy is in good shape, blissfully innocent of the effects of resolution on citizen confidence in an economy. But to listen to the Prime Minister's Reaganesque victory speech, it's clear that's not why he won. Contradicting all the conventional wisdom of Europe, Howard bluntly told Australians in his victory speech that Australia's participation in the Coalition of the Willing is precisely the reason Australia is the great and world—respected nation it is today. It's an unexpectedly powerful rebuke to his naysayers. But it says something greater. Prime Minister Howard knows something only winning leaders know: There is no substitute for victory. He's passed the first powerful test for the Coalition breathtakingly.

In states that export terrorists, tyrants in moribund certainty know there's no need to be accountable to citizens so long as they hold power.

But not so in the West, where leaders are put to the electoral test. It's particularly poignant for the Coalition of the Willing, all three of whose leading members — Howard, Bush and Blair — face close elections. Would their publics support them, as the antiwar movement and Axis of Weasels insist they wouldn't?

So all the world watched intently as the first test was given in Australia and the results rolled in Saturday morning. The resounding victory for Prime Minister John Howard was the people's verdict on the war on terror, the rightness of staying the course, and the necessity of victory.

Bear in mind that Howard's test was a bruising one and whether he would win was uncertain. Howard had to stand up to different varieties of opponents who criticized battlefield losses in Iraq, launched loud antiwar demonstrations, blew up the embassy in Jakarta, and insulted him from capitulation states like the Philippines and Spain. To terrorists in particular, he looked like an easy takedown mark. But Howard didn't waver. And his resounding victory, 52.5—47.5, was a message to his nation's enemies that the Pacific's steadiest ship wasn't for turning.

Some media reports claim Howard won because Australia's economy is in good shape, blissfully innocent of the effects of resolution on citizen confidence in an economy. But to listen to the Prime Minister's Reaganesque victory speech, it's clear that's not why he won. Contradicting all the conventional wisdom of Europe, Howard bluntly told Australians in his victory speech that Australia's participation in the Coalition of the Willing is precisely the reason Australia is the great and world—respected nation it is today. It's an unexpectedly powerful rebuke to his naysayers. But it says something greater. Prime Minister Howard knows something only winning leaders know: There is no substitute for victory. He's passed the first powerful test for the Coalition breathtakingly.