Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, November 10, 2006

Arab News On What Next In Iraq

Amir Taheri has a long editorial in Arab News, Don't Expect Madrid Effect, that I almost ran word-for-word here because it is so well written and presents such a clear grasp of the significance of the midterm election on Iraq.

Instead, I'll just present the first three and last two paragraphs. I recommend you read the middle as well.

By all accounts, the United States’ midterm elections have produced a political earthquake by handing over control of the Senate and the House of Representatives to Democrats. And by all accounts, the trigger of the quake was Iraq.

Surprisingly, however, Iraq, although used as a code concept for attacking President George W. Bush, was hardly debated in the context of its broader realities and the impact its future might have on the regional and, indeed, the global balance of power.

The word “Iraq” brought together a disparate coalition that might unravel, now that the Democrats share greater responsibility in shaping policy. ...

One thing is certain. The jubilation expressed in jihadist circles as a result of the Republicans’ defeat may be misplaced. There is no evidence that the US election would produce a “Madrid effect” in the sense of a strategic retreat in the face of the jihadist challenge. No one could claim a majority of Americans voted for a “cut-and-run” policy. Although some Democrats hinted at that option, they were careful not to appear as the party of defeat.

During the election campaign Pelosi and company might have talked of “Bush’s war” or the “neocons’ war”. But now it is their war, too. If it is won they will share in victory. If lost, they will share the blame. That may turn the idea of helping Iraq transform itself into a stable pluralist polity into a bipartisan cause, uniting rather than dividing Americans. And that would be bad news for self-styled jiahdists whose only hope of victory lies in an American loss of resolve.

Anything that's bad news for jihadists is good news for us. But will the Dems be so eager to attack the GOP that they forget to fight the jihadists?

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