This is the editorial from the Victorian Sunday Herald-Sun. The newspaper is part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
Savages bent on killing us, our children and our way of life have cast a shadow over the early years of the 21st century.
They flew planes of innocents into the World Trade Centre and Pentagon.
They bombed a nightclub of equally innocent holidaymakers in Bali, killing 88 Australians.
Islamic extremists want us dead. They love death, they say, as much as we love life.
Last week they hacked off the head of American Jack Hensley, recording the event on video so that it could entertain their equally determined brothers and sisters in other countries. Sadly, some of those live among us, perversely – but only for convenience sake – calling themselves Australians.
Of course, they are not. They are not even human.
But those of us who must deal with them, the consequences of their unquenchable hate and the threat they pose to us, have a task at hand.
It is intellectually lazy to say we should withdraw from the Coalition of the Willing, bring the troops home and safeguard our back door. If only our wicked enemies were as simple.
They may have failed to kill thousands of Australians in their thwarted attempt to attack the Olympic stadium in 2000.
But the Islamic terrorists so determined we should die because we are free knocked on our door on September 11. They killed 10 Australians thousands of miles from their homeland.
They knocked on our door again at Bali a year later. Those Australians who needed to – perhaps Mark Latham was among them – might have heard that a little more clearly.
And they knocked once more outside our very own embassy in Jakarta last month, killing nine – probably all of them Muslims, but that will hardly bother these brothers and sisters of the devil.
Last month in Beslan, in southern Russia, they peaked, shooting schoolchildren in the back as they fled the school siege in which 360 died, 150 of them harmless, defenceless and much loved children.
The terrorists will be disappointed this was not captured on video for their comrades.
The rest of the world simply felt sick.
This is what the war on terror is about. It is the greatest challenge to our futures since the height of the cold war.
To misunderstand it is to misread the bold signs of what will be the great historical markers our time.
Mistakes have been made and the coalition partners clearly overestimated the enthusiasm for democracy in a region cruelly denied that right for so long.
But that does not make the fight for our security wrong.
Mark Latham, an ill-disciplined man, who as Labor leader is still to fully take shape, heedlessly said he wanted the troops “home by Christmas”.
Every Australian wishes for that.
Just like the mums and dads of the boys at Normandy and Tobruk and Ypres and Villers-Bretonneux and Gallipoli and Inchon wished their kids could be home for Christmas.
But they had a job to do, which they did and which our nation proudly celebrates every November 11 and April 25.
That generation won then and we must win again. Once more we are on the right side of history.
To rashly bring the troops home by Christmas might mean somewhat fewer Christmases for many of us.
The Sunday Herald Sun believes all Australians need to keep that in mind as we cast our vote for our future next Saturday.