THE WAR SO FAR
Charles Krauthammer takes the large view of the war on terrorism, providing this progress report:
Consider what has happened in the Near East since Sept. 11, 2001:
(1) In Afghanistan, the Taliban have been overthrown and a decent government has been installed.
(2) In Iraq, the Saddam Hussein regime has been overthrown, the dynasty has been destroyed and the possibility for a civilized form of governance exists for the first time in 30 years.
(3) In Iran, with dictatorships toppled to the east (Afghanistan) and the west (Iraq), popular resistance to the dictatorship of the mullahs has intensified.
(4) In Pakistan, once the sponsor and chief supporter of the Taliban, the government radically reversed course and became a leading American ally in the war on terror.
(5) In Saudi Arabia, where the presence of U.S. troops near the holy cities of Mecca and Medina deeply inflamed relations with many Muslims, the American military is leaving — not in retreat or with apology but because it is no longer needed to protect Saudi Arabia from Hussein.
(6) Yemen, totally unhelpful to the United States after the attack on the USS Cole, has started cooperating in the war on terror.
(7) In the small, stable Gulf states, new alliances with the United States have been established.
(8) Kuwait’s future is secure, the threat from Saddam Hussein having been eliminated.
(9) Jordan is secure, no longer having Iraq’s tank armies and radical nationalist influence at its back.
(10) Syria has gone quiet, closing terrorist offices in Damascus and playing down its traditional anti-Americanism.
(11) Lebanon’s southern frontier is quiet for the first time in years, as Hezbollah, reading the new strategic situation, has stopped cross-border attacks into Israel.
(12) Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have been restarted, a truce has been declared and a fledgling Palestinian leadership has been established that might actually be prepared to make a real peace with Israel.
Not a bad start.