Friday, September 16, 2005

VDH Friday

With the recent anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Victor Davis Hanson looks at the promising and disheartening events of the past four years.

On the Home Front:
We are fighting a culture in radical Islam that cannot make or earn anything. It is entirely parasitic, counting only on stealthy petro-handouts from terrified regimes, which themselves create no capital of their own other than by maintaining oil production that others crafted and, for a price, mostly still operate and maintain.
Abroad:
Iran and Syria, unlike in the spring of 2003, are convinced that their efforts at subverting Iraq will either pay off with a perpetually crippled neighbor, or at least cause so much chaos that the tired American public would never support retaliation against either Teheran or Damascus for their support of terrorism. And they are absolutely right in their calculations — unless Iraq stabilizes soon and Americans can see a radically different government in a secure country as the dividend of their sacrifices.
The Future:
If the trends of the last month — more Iraqi participation, constitutional discussions, fewer attacks on Americans, Iraqi predictions of fewer U.S. troops needed — hold steady, then the public will grudgingly restore their support, the Middle East really will be forever altered, and the anti-war left will retreat to lick its wounds. The administration can tell the gung-ho right it prevailed while avoiding deploying several hundreds of thousands of troops in the Middle East and sapping its entire war-making potential — while a restive China of a billion people scares far more than radical Islam.
As always, read it all.