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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The Belmont Club: The End of the Beginning
The Belmont Club: The End of the Beginning

The Belmont Club continues to be the best source for ahead-of-the-curve reporting/opinion on military tactics/strategy and progress/setbacks in Iraq. An excerpt from their latest entry:

Just as the ouster of Saddam by OIF touched off a wave of changes in Libya, Lebanon and the entire region, the impending defeat of the insurgency will paradoxically enhance the ability of diplomacy to address many of the remaining issues. Saddam's defeat confirmed what many military analysts knew from Desert Storm, that it was impossible for any conventional army to stand up against US forces. And that modified the behavior of many rogue states. Yet there remained the hope that the terrorist model of warfare, forged in Algeria and refined against Israel in Lebanon, would bring America to a halt: that rogue regimes acting discreetly could operate within that strategic shadow. Now, for the first time since Algeria, a terrorist force of the highest quality, supported by contributions from oil-rich countries, in the heart of the Arab world, with sanctuary in a friendly regime across the border and eulogized as "freedom fighters" by dozens of major international publications is on the verge of total and ignominious defeat. There are no more strategic shadows.

While there will certainly continue to be challenges in Iraq (as there have been in Afghanistan), I believe we are watching a progressing victory with world-changing impact. Whether President Bush and Neoconservatives will get credit for the strategy in the near term is less relevant than the long-term positive effects that will be judged by history.
You all might enjoy the conservative blog "Gates of Vienna" at http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/.
The MSM uses the ongoing violence as evidence of our failure, but measured against any other conflict, it's a great success. Even after WWII we occupied Japan for several years before leaving a self-sufficient democracy where a totalitarian empire once stood. Democracies aren't built overnight. Iraq is doing very well.
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