Sunday, October 16, 2005

Belmont Club: The End of the Beginning

Belmont Club writes:

"Just as the ouster of Saddam by OIF touched off a wave of changes in Libya, Lebanon and the entire region, the impending defeat of the insurgency will paradoxically enhance the ability of diplomacy to address many of the remaining issues. Saddam's defeat confirmed what many military analysts knew from Desert Storm, that it was impossible for any conventional army to stand up against US forces. And that modified the behavior of many rogue states. Yet there remained the hope that the terrorist model of warfare, forged in Algeria and refined against Israel in Lebanon, would bring America to a halt: that rogue regimes acting discreetly could operate within that strategic shadow. Now, for the first time since Algeria, a terrorist force of the highest quality, supported by contributions from oil-rich countries, in the heart of the Arab world, with sanctuary in a friendly regime across the border and eulogized as 'freedom fighters' by dozens of major international publications is on the verge of total and ignominious defeat. There are no more strategic shadows.

Victory is arguably the most perilous moment for any great power. In that instant it can be goaded into the destructive path to hubris, or if it is wise, go on to attain real greatness. The fruits of freedom throughout the region may not always be congenial, as the example of the voters in Fallujah showed in microcosm. But that is what the mission set out to attain all the same: Operation Iraqi Freedom."

I don't worry about hubris. That's what the Democrats are for. They're the slave riding in the back of our Republics chariot whispering in our Generals ears. Except in our implementation the slave is whispering from the opening of battle. He doesn't wait for the outcome.
The final addition to the general's appearance during the triumph was a slave who stood behind him, holding a crown above his head, whispering "look behind" or "you are only mortal." Either of the phrases, spoken by the slave, had the same meaning and purpose, which was to make sure the general remembered, that this treatment is only temporary and the next day he will return to being a mortal general.

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