The ultimate cause for the failure of repression everywhere on earth is the unconquerable craving for freedom in the hearts of the oppressed.

Even someone who has known only tyranny knows deep in his soul that it is not how his life was meant to be. Freedom is the natural state of man. It is up to us to protect it; always.

This week marks the ten year anniversary of the Iraq conflict. Arguments may be made about the cost but not the result: America was victorious. With the benefit of hindsight, a different military strategy perhaps would have incurred superior outcomes for America. But ultimately, they took the bad guy out. And Americans should take the victory in Iraq over the humiliation of Benghazi any day.

There has been no greater enemy or antithesis of global tyranny than America. It is the greatest vanquisher of evil, ever.

Synonymous with the Republican brand for the last thirty years has been strong national security, and a commitment to peace through strength has been a mooring. Recent remarks at CPAC suggest that some are considering a GOP in the future with a more inward-looking military and national security policy. Not a return to isolationism but certainly a departure from the previous three decades.

While this is more than understandable given the enormous price in treasure it has paid in the two conflicts of the last decade, it is a direction fraught with peril.

The frustration of conservatives with the world is one for which great sympathy must be granted. It is difficult to argue that the United States has done little other than protect the world, suffuse it with freedom, dispense unprecedented financial aid, relieve during national disasters. In the same way, it is hard to identify what America has sought in return, other than a small plot of land to bury a fallen American. And yet it has bought them only naked hostility and envy with increased dangers to their security, matched only by grand ingratitude. What’s the point?

Since the Iraq war of the last decade, anti-Americanism took a very square aim at the US military. It is without question that the inequality of American military prowess infuriates the left; a political ideology craving equality. Tarnishing the brave and honorable men of the greatest fighting force (and most noble) in the world does not just make little sense, it is utterly reprehensible.

The greatest country in the world, many might argue with a providential purpose, has a responsibility to, where it can, remove evil and defeat tyranny. Consider the consequences to many smaller great lands in a world where the United States is not there to protect them. Many nations solely exist or rely due to American power; Israel and Australia (with just twenty-three million people- a population less than Texas) are two examples. The world is a safer place, solely because of the United States of America. With North Korea ramping their rhetoric, Republicans and, indeed, any American administration, need to put the fear of God in the hearts of what President Bush aptly named the “Axis of Evil”.

US military intervention does win hearts and minds but they are drowned out by the hysterical condemnation of anti- American choirs. A re-focus home has great merit but it must always include leading from the front. The great problem with the Obama administration is that it has a policy of often leading from behind. Leading from behind is not American. It has a proud tradition of leading from the front- and so it must remain. The GOP must be careful, should it embrace a reversal in approach to foreign policy, that it never falls into this trap and projects weakness.

The American idea is contingent upon fighting to preserve freedom everywhere, from the souls of their feet and with every fiber in their body. And they must never be afraid to proclaim American greatness or exceptionalism. Every time an American feels all is lost, and his nation too far gone, he should picture the blood-soaked Marine, tears streaming down his cheeks as e carries a fallen friend. Only this perspective reminds us what it is all worth in the end.

The 270 words of Lincoln’s address that lasted barely two minutes so concisely and eloquently summed up the high ideals of what the Union hoped the Republic would become after the war was won. Americans would do well to remember them.