Every few months we hear of a new "message" from Al Qaeda and analysts ponder what it portends. By now surely it is clear that Al Qaeda can produce videotapes but not terrorism. In fact, their poorly produced tapes, threatening spectacular attacks, are becoming a joke, much like Saddam Hussein's promises to fight "the mother of all battles."
In political terms they have fared even worse. Support for violent Islam is waning in almost all major Muslim countries. Discussions from Libya to Saudi Arabia are all about liberalization. Ever since September 11, when the spotlight has been directed on these societies and their dysfunctions laid bare to the world, it is the hard-liners who are in retreat and the moderates on the rise. This does not mean that there will be rapid reform anywhere—there are many obstacles to progress—but it does suggest that the moderates are not running scared anymore.
(Link via Glenn Reynolds.) None of this, of course, would have been the case if we followed John Kerry's advice and made the fight against terrorism "primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation." A point that deserves to be made over and over in this campaign.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Pejman has an insightful post up with a great quote from an Iraqi blogger: