Richard Pipes critiques the widespread notion that this war with Iraq will lead to a new wave of anti-US terrrorism. He thinks the opposite much more likely, noting that was precisely what happened after the US eradication of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan:

Iraqi gratitude: In northern Iraq, a young girl yells in English “I love you,” to U.S. troops; in the south, Najaf’s mood is described as “like a carnival.” Watching the gratitude of liberated Iraqis will undercut the Muslim sense of outrage that this war harmed the Iraqi population.

Casualties: The relatively small number of civilian casualties, plus the excellent care they are getting from the allies, will diminish the rage about Iraqis paying too high a price for their freedom.

Islam: Respecting Iraqi ways, especially their religion, will reduce apprehensions about the war being a crusade.

Oil: A poll in Jordan finds 83 percent of respondents believing Washington is fighting for control over Iraqi oil; but when a new Iraqi government takes charge of its oil resources, this canard will die.

Imperialism: The alacrity with which the allies remove themselves from controlling Iraq will assuage fears of it becoming part of a U.S. empire.

Strong horse: As bin Laden himself put it, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.” An allied victory will establish who the strong horse is, diminishing the ardor of its enemies to fight.

(Hat tip: RealClear Politics)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.