How can we be losing the war on terror when everything is going our way (at least for the moment)?


Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is calling for real presidential elections in Egypt, something he's never done in 24 years. They might end up being rigged, but symbolism is important.

Aside: it's great when AP uses native stringers to report on the Mideast.

The audience before [Mubarak] at Menoufia University broke into applause and calls of support, some shouting, "Long live Mubarak, mentor of freedom and democracy!" Others spontaneously recited verses of poetry praising the government.
The credulous tone sounds like Pravda in the bad old days.

In my estimation, the Islamofascists have made a serious strategic error by choosing to make terrorism and perverted religiousity into their sole means of gaining support. This essentially concedes all other aspects of economic and civil life to America and her allies. We can show that by accepting basic human freedoms, people can eat well, watch their children grow in safety, have better jobs, and alleviate corruption in public life, all while continuing to honor God in their own way. Their slogan is, "Support us because God wills it, or we'll blow up your house." Not the best way to gain the support of The People.

Here's a quick review of the last 15 months in the Mideast:

Afghanistan: Held free and fair elections. Currently governed by a liberal regime (by regional standards). Working to exterminate the last holdouts of armed Islamofascists.

Egypt: Making moves to allow real national elections.

Iran: The government is still one of the most oppressive in the world, but their people don't support them. Reform or regime change is practically inevitable, though it might not happen for years; any new government is almost guaranteed to be more pro-Western and pro-U.S.

Iraq: Held elections which the Islamofascists didn't enter and couldn't disrupt. Working to build a civil society in most areas of the country, and even the Sunni-dominated areas have apparently realized they're going to lose out if they don't play ball with the new government.

Israel: Withdrawing settlers from Palestinian areas. Moving toward restarting talks with the Palestinian authority.

Jordan: Continues its quiet, under-the-table alliance with America by training Iraqi security forces and providing logistical support to non-military programs in Iraq.

Libya: Dismantled its nuclear bomb program (which was alarmingly advanced) and opened itself to the West.

Saudi Arabia: Felt compelled to hold sham elections where the only candidates were the ones vetted by the religious ministry. Still, they didn't feel compelled to fake elections before.

Syria: Starts making noises about withdrawing from Lebanon, which is a good start.

We can be sure that we will suffer setbacks, but President Bush doesn't look so crazy anymore for saying Iraq was the key to eliminating despotism and oppression in the Mideast. Still skeptical? Try this: think of one large regional trend that is going against us right now, or a country that is becoming less friendly to democracy and freedom.

In sum, our Islamofascist opponents are losing men, territory, and popular support. This isn't the time for triumphalism or complacency, but let's be honest: America and her allies are willing the war on terrorism, and the Mideast as a region is moving toward liberalization.


The country moving most toward repression may be Cuba.

Maybe, but I was thinking of the Mideast region. And it would be tough for Cuba to be much more repressive.


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This page contains a single entry by Eric Johnson published on February 26, 2005 12:21 PM.

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