Column: Good News!
For many reasons that's good news for us over here. For one it means the Bush Doctrine will ensure the continuation of the WOT in the only way that it can be fought effectively, by focusing not solely on chasing down Osama bin Laden -- a myopic approach that ignores the issue of state sponsorship of terrorism -- but by taking preemptive action against terrorists and their state sponsors and then promoting the spread of democracy where terrorists will know no safe harbor.
The alternative would have been costly for everyone. America cutting and running from Iraq under Kerry would have emboldened the Islamofascists enormously -- especially when coupled with Sharon's planned "disengagement" from Gaza.
Instead, Fallujah is about to fall to the Marines just as two hundred years ago Tripoli fell to them in America's first war as an independent nation -- signaling the end of four hundred years of Islamic, state-sponsored, piracy on the Mediterranean Sea -- that's right, four hundred years of Europeans paying tribute and/or being murdered, raped, converted, robbed and enslaved by the Barbary Pirates.
Even before the operation in Fallujah began, the Bush Doctrine was immediately at issue in the post-election press conference. But President Bush made it absolutely clear to all those in the media and on the left that there would be no retreat -- quashing their hopes to bring him to some more "moderate" stance as if the "arguments" made by Kerry had enough weight to demand reconsideration. Bush would have none of it.
The most relevant "argument" was that Saddam was not involved in 9/11 and that Bush was lying when he said he was. The fact of the matter is that Bush never said anything of the like. He simply presented the Bush Doctrine and identified Saddam as a state sponsor of terrorism -- without regard to whether or not there was specific evidence of a tie to 9/11 -- and based on the Doctrine decided to remove Saddam.
Looking forward a bit, I heard this on the radio a few days ago: The mullahs of Iran are behind the "insurgents" in Iraq to a greater extent then almost anyone is aware -- that from the eyewitness account of a soldier who was in the field. They have a tremendous stake in the outcome in Iraq as democracy threatens to dethrone them at home. As he put, "We are already fighting Iran in Iraq but I was asked by my officers not to say too much about it."
Meanwhile, Arafat is brain dead in Paris. Almost certainly his death will bring a violent power struggle in its wake as the "Palestinians" seek to crown their next billionaire, tyrant, murderer. Attempts to avoid these developments are likely to offer some fleeting hope of a peaceful and peace focused transfer of power. It won't happen.
Daniel Pipes said this recently on the subject in a piece for FrontPage magazine.com:
"Situation on the ground: There will be no successor to Yasir Arafat – he made sure of that through his endless manipulations, tricks, and schemes. Instead, this is the moment of the gunmen. Whether they fight for criminal gangs, warlords, security services, or ideological groups (like Hamas), militiamen grasping for land and treasure will dominate the Palestinian scene for months or years ahead. The sort of persons familiar from past diplomacy or from television commentaries (Mahmoud Abbas, Ahmed Qurei, et al.) lack gunmen, and so will have limited relevance going forward."
Also of import:
Sharon's unilateral disengagement -- and I use the word unilateral in its strictest sense -- may yet be thwarted. The National Religious Party has quit the government (they should tonight). Sharon will have a mere minority government of 54 and this number includes 17 who are actively opposed to the "disengagement" plan. Sharon's government could easily fall over the budget or "disengagement." Alternatively, Labor could join the government or support it from without – in exchange for budget changes and/or early elections; or Sharon could dissolve the government and call for early elections.
Important development that is well under the radar:
There exists the likelihood that the Jewish Biblical claim to the Land of Israel will be heard more and more over the next years as the election brought the Evangelical community in America to new strength. It is well known that the Evangelical community often sites the Bible in Israel's defense and in its support of Israel's right to all of the Land of Israel. Israeli politicians and activists have taken note of the ascendancy of the Evangelicals and I would expect the Biblical Claim will push its way slowly into the arena of international debate.