Monday, March 28, 2005

Catching Up

I unplugged the media when I went on vacation, and now I'm catching up, so forgive me if I present some discovery here that's new to me, but which you've seen linked from a dozen blogs already.

This one, for instance: Karl Zinsmeister in "American Enterprise" notes the bandwagon is getting a bit crowded.

Those of us who spent much of 2003 and 2004 urging Americans not to give up on Iraq can attest that those two years were stained with many harsh attacks, much niggling criticism, and abundant disdain for America's aggressive efforts to reshape the dysfunctional governments of the Middle East into more humane and peaceful forms. From the very beginning, of course, the Bush administration's left-wing enemies in the U.S. and Europe were hysterically opposed to the push for Middle Eastern democracy. A significant number of right-wing pundits also proved themselves to be sunshine patriots of the worst sort--bailing out of the hard, dirty work of war and cultural transformation as soon as the predictable resistance arose.

But that's politics. In Washington, if you're looking for a brave and steadfast ally, you need to buy a dog. Fortunately our warriors battling away in Najaf and Samarra and Anbar province didn't surrender to the Beltway gloom that defeated most of our media and political elites.

Everyday Americans also proved sturdier than our chattering class. They stayed with the fight long enough for some hard facts to emerge. Now some very good news is obvious to all who have eyes: We are not facing a popular revolt in Iraq. Average Arabs are not on the side of terrorists and Islamic radicals. America's venture to defang the Middle East is neither the cynical and selfish oil grab that the lunatic Left have claimed, nor a dreamy and doomed Don Quixote crusade as some conservative grumps insisted.

So here, at last, come the soldiers of the "me too" brigade. Even the French have joined in. They're sending one man (yes, one) to help train Iraqi security forces. And he's welcome. Victory is magnanimous.

Also from this issue, Don't Fear the Shiites

I unplugged most of the media, I should have said. I read the delightful "Keynoter" newspaper, which mostly kept you updated on bar specials in Marathon or Key Largo, or the doings of the fishing fleets. It occasionally made a stab at localizing a national story. The national news mostly dealt with atrocious crimes, and the localizing article generally turned out something like this: "Experts say (Problem X) not a problem here." Which made you all the gladder to be there.