Where will it all end? Our choices are threefold.
We can wind down -- essentially the position of the mainstream Left -- and return to a pre-September 11 situation, treating Islamism as a criminal justice matter or deserving of an occasional cruise missile. This, in my view, would be a disaster and guarantee another mass attack.
Or we can continue to pacify Iraq. We then wait and see whether the ripples from the January elections-- without further overt American military action into other countries -- bring democracy to Lebanon, Egypt, the Gulf States, and eventually the entire Middle East. This is the apparent present policy of the administration: talking up democracy, not provoking any who might disagree. It may well work, though such patience requires constant articulation to the American people that we are really in a deadly war when it doesn't seem to everyone that we are.
Or we can press on. We apprise Syria to cease all sanctuary for al Qaedists and Iran to give up its nuclear program -- or face surgical and punitive American air strikes. Such escalation is embraced by few, although many acknowledge that we may soon have few choices other than just that. But for now we can sum up the American plans as hoping that democracy spreads faster than Islamism, and thus responsible government will appear to ensure terrorists and WMD disappear.
The above, of course, is what we plan, but gives no consideration to the intent of the enemy. As we speak, he desperately searches for new strategies to ward off defeat as jihad seems more likely to lead to ruin than the return of the caliphate.
For now Islamic fascist strategy is to make such horrific news in Iraq that America throws up its hands and sighs, "These crazy people simply aren't worth it," goes home, snoozes -- and thus becomes ripe for another September 11.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Thanks to Little Green Footballs for this link toVictor Davis Hanson's latest: