May 28, 2008

VDH - Upside Down

Victor Davis Hanson

The successful toppling of Saddam was followed in short order by the shutdown of Dr. Khan’s atomic shop, the surrender of WMDs by the Libyans, and the supposed sidetracking of the Iranian nuclear bomb program (at least according to the National Intelligence Estimate) — and yet no one thought the timing of all these events was odd (even when Ghaddafi himself reportedly connected his decision to abandon a weapons of mass destruction program to Saddam’s fate).

By the same token, the rise of governments that are sympathetic to the U.S. in France, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe is never associated with a shared and growing worry over Islamic radicalism — or a grudging, often private acknowledgment of the U.S. role abroad in beating back jihadism. How surreal to see a constitutional government in Iraq, with broad popular support, fighting and defeating terrorists and insurgents of both the Wahhabi and Iranian brand — at a time when the consensus is that Iraq only made terrorism much worse. As we’ve seen from recent events, there are many governments abroad that deserve criticism, whether in China, the Sudan, or Burma, but Iraq is not one of them.

So these are upside-down times when facts and events on the ground simply do not support the general pessimism of the Western media, the serial publication of gloomy he-did-it,-not-me memoirs about the post-9/11 supposed failures, and the shrill rhetoric of the Democratic primaries.

In general, the hard efforts of the last six years against radical Islam — that bore fruit by the radically changed atmosphere in Iraq, the decline in terrorism worldwide, the lack of a follow-up to 9/11, and polls that showed a marked fall in approval for al-Qaeda, Bin Laden, and the tactic of suicide bombing — are explained away in various ways. The common theme, however, is that one never mentions the efforts of the bogeyman George Bush.

I'm not sure which bugs me more...the fact that Bush gets no credit for the real anti-terror accomplishments of his administration, or that he doesn't get so much as the presumption of having acted in good faith in the attempt. Probably the latter, since good people can disagree on the means, if not the ends of the fight against Islamic terror. The hate for Bush personally and his portrayal as a malign force come from somewhere else.

Posted by dan at May 28, 2008 8:37 AM