The greatest damage, however, lies in the shadow it casts over our own conscience, our own conviction, our own resolve. Americans need to believe that we are the good guys; that our sons and daughters risk and give their lives in a cause that can be justified in God's eyes, even as war, all war, must bring grief to His heart. Some may see this as naïve. I see it as evidence that we remain a people of conscience, despite all that our intellectual elites have done to corrupt our morals and our character.

The president was right to apologize to the victims of this abuse. It was not an apology offered in a spirit of guilty complicity, but from the spirit of those who are the defenders of innocent humanity to those whose helpless humanity was abused. We failed them and through the degraded antics of the troops responsible, we were ourselves humiliated. We must identify and punish the guilty, regardless of their rank. But more importantly we must take from this episode a new resolve to match deeds to words in the war against terror, defeating its evil manifestations both in the world at large and where necessary, in our own actions. In this war more perhaps than in any other we have known, victory begins at home.