Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Don't Look Now, But We Won the War

That's the message of this piece from the American Enterprise. Recently I tried my hand at an Iraq status report, and I also concluded that by many measures, we've already accomplished what we set out to do. The author of the AE piece, Karl Zinsmeister, has been to Baghdad, though, for three extended periods, once in 2003, once in 2004, and once just recently, and he says the change is striking:

With the exception of periodic flare-ups in isolated corners, our struggle in Iraq as warfare is over. Egregious acts of terror will continue—in Iraq as in many other parts of the world. But there is now no chance whatever of the U.S. losing this critical guerilla war.

Well, you may say, that's far too optimistic; what about all the mayhem we see on the news?
Policing and political problem-solving are mostly tasks for Iraqis, not Americans. And the Iraqis are taking them up, often with gusto. I saw much evidence that responsible Iraqis are gradually isolating the small but dangerously nihilistic minority trying to strangle their new society. With each passing month, U.S. forces will more and more become a kind of SWAT team that intervenes only to multiply the force of the emerging Iraqi security forces, and otherwise stays mostly in the background.
This is the kind of good news we need to hear more of, and quickly, before certain elements of the media and the Left convince Americans our great victory has been a defeat.

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