It's one of those rare moments when i manage to read an article containing several paragraphs!
John Lewis Gaddis , Professor of History at Yale writes in Foreign Affairs about George W. Bush and his second term. The prof both criticizes and praises the administration of Dubya but since I am who I am it's gonna be an orgy in cutting and pasting stuff I like. (It's an article for all! Liberal bloggers can use it too!)
Perhaps al Qaeda planned no further attacks. Perhaps it anticipated that the United States would retaliate by invading Afghanistan and deposing the Taliban. Perhaps it foresaw U.S. military redeployments from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Iraq. Perhaps it expected a worldwide counterterrorist campaign to roll up substantial portions of its network. Perhaps it predicted that the Bush administration would abandon its aversion to nation building and set out to democratize the Middle East. Perhaps bin Laden's strategy allowed for all of this, but that seems unlikely. If it did not, then the first and most fundamental feature of the Bush strategy--taking the offensive against the terrorists and thereby surprising them--has so far accomplished its purposes.
No, no, no !! Usama is almighty, he has foreseen all of this..
There is still time, then, to defeat the insurgency--even though the insurgents are no doubt also learning from their own mistakes. Victory, in the end, will go to the side that can rally the "silent majority" of Iraqis who have so far not taken sides. Here an advantage lies with the Americans and their allies, for they can offer elections. The insurgents cannot.
Nope, the insurgents cannot even provide freedom, room service or anything else worth living for.
And yet, on October 9, 2004, millions of Afghans lined up to vote in an election that had no precedent in their nation's long history. Had anyone predicted this three years ago, the response would have been incredulity--if not doubts about sanity.
I predicted it and was brutally beaten by the liberal thugs of my home town. It was worth it.
What this suggests is that forces of disruption and construction coexist in Afghanistan: their shifting balance is beyond precise measurement. If that is true there, then it is all the more so in Iraq, where the contradictions are greater, the stakes are higher, and the standards for making optimistic or pessimistic judgments are even more opaque. The best one can say at the moment, of both countries, is that they defy generalization. That is less than the Bush administration hoped for. It is far more, however, than any previous American administration has achieved in the Middle East. For better or for worse, the status quo exists no longer.
Works for me. I have never liked any form of Status Quo.