After al Qaeda
Charles Krauthammer (Town Hall)
WASHINGTON -- Where are we? At this midpoint of the Bush administration, engaged as we are in conflict throughout the world, are we winning?
This is Dr. K., of course, so we're winning the conflicts that we know we're in but we're losing the conflicts that we don't know we're in (yet). He is a psychiatrist by training, you know.
The great democratic crusade undertaken by this administration is going far better than most observers will admit.
Somebody didn't read the uniform style sheet regarding the use of "crusade." Sigh. Top-tier columnists always ignore the style sheet.
That's the good news. The bad news is a development more troubling than most observers recognize: signs of the emergence, for the first time since the fall of the Soviet empire, of an anti-American bloc anchored by Great Powers.
They must be very, very powerful. They're capitalized.
First, the good news. The great project of the Bush administration -- the strengthening and spread of democracy -- is enjoying considerable success. Most recently we witnessed the triumph of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, which followed the Rose Revolution in Georgia.... Less publicized were elections in two critical Muslim states -- Indonesia and Malaysia -- in which Islamic parties were decisively defeated.
I don't know -- this is so puffy it feels like presidential resume padding in hopes of a Nobel Peace Prize. Is this supposed to be one of those "creating the right climate" claims of accomplishment?
And now, elections in Iraq, which are obviously problematic, but also very promising. Not only will they establish a precedent for free elections and constitutionalism. They will also effectively transfer power to the heretofore disenfranchised majority of Iraqis -- Shiites and Kurds -- who will then have a real stake in helping the United States defend the new Iraqi order against the Baathist insurgency.
So after the elections, let the civil war games begin!
Moreover, the election process and the vicious terrorism unleashed against every element of it have exposed the insurgency as not the nationalist resistance that sympathizers in the West pretend it to be, but as the desperate opposition by dead-enders to both Iraqi democracy and majority rule.
Elsewhere in the Islamic world, we saw (though many downplayed ) the Afghan miracle -- free and successful elections in perhaps the world's least hospitable soil for democracy....
Damn it, more jaundiced observers, Western sympathizers, and stubborn downplayers. Still the good news shines through: After the January 30th elections, the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds will be able to democratically bomb the shit out of each other.
Now, for the bad news.
You can read the bad news for yourself. My synopsis in less than 10 words: Russia, China, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, and "Chavez's" Venezuela.
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