THE WAR, NOW

Glenn Reynolds has an up-beat post on progress in the war on terror. I share most of his feelings on this, although I share most deeply his admission that it’s very hard to tell for sure. I’m worried we still don’t have enough troops in Iraq; but I’m not a long-term pessimist about the country. Rummy isn’t spinning when he says it will take a long long time. Well, he may be spinning but he may also be right. Whatever the problems Iraq faces, the removal of Saddam is not resented by any serious Iraqis; and the daily news of the mass murders that took place regularly under Saddam only confirm more deeply the moral imperative of that truly just war. My prediction that Bush really would tackle the Israeli-Palestinian impasse has also been borne out; and Sharon’s use of the word “occupation” tells me he’s serious about a nation-saving deal. As to whether Abbas can deliver, call me a hopeful pessimist. More broadly, I’m worried about French mischief around the globe, especially their latest attempt to revamp the European Union to undermine any nation states on the continent tilting toward the U.S. (I have a long essay due out soon on this very subject). But I still believe that the biggest story of the past two years is al Qaeda’s reeling. I’m amazed we haven’t had another huge attack in the U.S. and believe the Bush administration deserves some credit for that. Heck, it deserves a lot of credit. To my mind, freedom from terror is still easily the most important objective of this moment. On that – despite my misgivings about his big spending and coziness with some on the far right – Bush deserves continued, critical support.