In an effort to combat the ongoing and largely partisan efforts to paint the status of the War on Terror in the bleakest possible light, coupled with the media's tendency to focus on the the abrupt and the horrible vs. the procedural and the positive, I offer up these words from Victor "Bombs Away" Hanson:
- After the spectacular victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, public ardor for the conflict is temporarily cooling. Because of the past recession, the effects of 9/11, the tax cuts, and the cost of the war, we are running up billions in projected annual budget deficits. Our own McClellans and contemporary Copperheads deride the president as a miserable failure cheek by jowl with major newspapers.
Few stop to appreciate that 50 million are now liberated with the first chance of real democracy in the history of the Middle East. We almost take for granted that the Taliban and Saddam Hussein are gone and that 90 percent of Iraq is functioning under local democratic councils - in an irreversible process that is taking on a culture and logic of its own. We are angry not that the situation in the occupied countries is stabilizing - so far at a cost of less than 300 - not 300,000 - American dead, but that they are not yet normal societies. Few Americans ask why and how Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran are suddenly whining privately rather than shouting defiance.
So beneath the hysterical headlines of quagmire, Vietnam, and stalemate, we have sorely hurt our enemies. We have driven the remnants of the Taliban into the Pakistani coffeehouses, the terrorists into caves, Saddam Hussein into a low-rent apartment, his sons into the Inferno - and replaced them all not with dictators, but real opportunities for freedom and consensual government. Instead of more skyscrapers exploding in American cities, 7,000 miles away jihadists and Islamic terrorists are being hunted down in their own once sacred enclaves.