VDH: “When Success Is the Orphan”

Victor Davis Hanson discusses the oddness of Western flight from success in the war against terrorism and the war in Iraq:

In general, the hard efforts of the last six years against radical Islam — that bore fruit by the radically changed atmosphere in Iraq, the decline in terrorism worldwide, the lack of a follow-up to 9/11, and polls that showed a marked fall in approval for al-Qaeda, Bin Laden, and the tactic of suicide bombing — are explained away in various ways. The common theme, however, is that one never mentions the efforts of the bogeyman George Bush.

The orphaned presidency of Harry Truman during the 1952 election year was likewise damned for stirring up Soviet and Chinese communism — tarred by the isolationist Right for getting us bogged down in hopeless quagmires, and by the left for creating a climate of paranoia at home and abroad — until decades later appreciated for establishing the general framework and mind-set of an eventually successful containment.

We have not won the war on terror, but we are starting to see how the combination of domestic security, international cooperation, military action, cultural ostracism of those who condone terrorism, and promotion of constitutional government in the Middle East can, and will, marginalize and eventually defeat the jihadists. We know this not just by the anguished complaints of the Islamists themselves, and real progress on the ground — but also by the mantra of increasingly ossified critics who still insist that things are either worse, or were never that bad, or abruptly got better on their own.(my emphasis)

One of the problems with the war on terror, and even with the war in Iraq, is that a lot of the effort necessarily proceeds in the shadows. If you’re using tactics that work, for instance, to uncover terrorist cells around the world, exposing them to swift vengeance, it’s not a wise move to publicize either the tactic or the successful eradication of the cell.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.