Victor Davis Hanson:
Any visitor to Iraq can see that the American military cannot be defeated there, but is also puzzled over exactly how we could win — victory being defined as fostering a stable Iraqi constitutional state analogous to, say, Turkey.
But war is never static. Over the last 90 days, there has been newfound optimism, as Iraqis are at last stepping forward to help Americans secure their country.
There is reduced voilence everywhere. Why?
Officers offered a number of theories. The surge of American troops, and Gen. David Petraeus' risky tactics of going after the terrorists within their enclaves, have put al-Qaida on the run. Likewise, in the past four years, the U.S. military has killed thousands of these terrorists and depleted their ranks.
Iraqis of all tribes and sects are also growing tired of the nihilistic violence that is squandering the opportunity for something better than Saddam's rule. The astronomical spike in oil prices has resulted in windfall profits of billions of dollars for the Iraqi government — and with it the realization that Iraq could someday become a wealthy, advanced state.
Iraqis told me that their widely held fear that Americans are going to leave soon has galvanized Sunnis to finally step up to secure their country or face even worse chaos in our absence.
The result is that ordinary Iraqis are increasingly willing to participate in local government and civil defense. Such popular engagement from the bottom up offers more hope than the old 2003 idea that a democratically elected government could simply mandate reform top-down from enclaves in the Green Zone.
The time is now. We are at a turning point.
Lost in all this confusion over Iraq is the fact that about 160,000 gifted American soldiers are trying to help rebuild an entire civilization socially, politically and economically — and defeat killers in their midst who will murder far beyond Iraq if not stopped.
It's time to pray.
h/t to BigDog
Monday, October 15, 2007
Victor Davis Hanson:
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 12:14 PM