Former USNEWS columnist John Leo (excerpt):
Can it be that many national reporters are so afflicted by Bush hatred that they can't let go long enough to report stories straight? Could be. Consider the entire backward-looking thrust of so much reportage, focusing sharply on what happened in 2002 and 2003, less on the stake we have in prevailing in Iraq. If we lose in Iraq, it will be the first great victory for global jihad, with tremendous consequences for the United States. Can the media get over their obsession with Bush and focus on that?
We are winning, and winning decisively, in Iraq and the Middle East. We defeated Saddam Hussein's army in just a few weeks. None of the disasters that many feared would follow our invasion occurred. Our troops did not have to fight door to door to take Baghdad. The Iraqi oil fields were not set on fire. There was no civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites. There was no grave humanitarian crisis.
Saddam Hussein was captured and is awaiting trial. His two murderous sons are dead. Most of the leading members of Saddam's regime have been captured or killed. After our easy military victory, we found ourselves inadequately prepared to defeat the terrorist insurgents, but now we are prevailing. Iraq has held free elections in which millions of people voted. A new, democratic constitution has been adopted that contains an extensive bill of rights. Discrimination on the basis of sex, religion or politics is banned. Soon the Iraqis will be electing their first parliament. An independent judiciary exists, almost all public schools are open...
Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek:
Panic Is Not the Solution - Many Democrats are understandably enraged over Iraq. But in responding in equally partisan fashion, they could well precipitate a tragedy. .... the paramount question right now should not be "What did we do about Iraq three years ago?" It should be "What should we do about Iraq today?" And on this topic, the administration has finally been providing some smart answers. ... Najaf and Mosul are now patrolled entirely by Iraqi Army forces. Even Kirkuk, which is politically sensitive, has fewer American troops in it than it did six months ago. This trend could accelerate, which would mean that three or four brigades could be withdrawn in the next year.HAARETZ:
Hezbollah will keep trying to abduct Israeli soldiers to use them as bargaining chips to secure the release of prisoners from Israeli jails, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the organization's secretary-general, said in Lebanon on Friday.
Nasrallah was speaking at a rally in memory of three of the group's fighters who were killed by the Israel Defense Forces last Monday. "It is our natural right to capture Israeli soldiers," Nasrallah said during the rally in the Hezbollah stronghold of south Beirut. "Indeed, it is our duty to do that." ... "It is not a shame, a crime or a terrorist act. It is our right and our duty which one day we might fulfill," he told thousands of supporters chanting "Death to Israel," and "Death to America."
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Pentagon officials are talking about a reduction in the number of U.S. forces in Iraq early next year. Some would be kept on call in Kuwait. If political and security progress is made in Iraq, American troop levels could drop to fewer than 100,000, from the current 150,000-plus, by the end of 2006. The Post reported that the Pentagon has set a series of "decision points" to consider troop cuts next year.
Iraq will one day stand on its own. That process is under way. Some 200,000 Iraqi personnel have been trained by U.S. forces, including some 84,000 police officers. Iraq troops have been shouldering increasing responsibility in some areas, with U.S. forces playing a supporting role. The U.S. will leave when Iraqis are able to defend themselves against the terrorists who would sabotage the country's future. No one wants the troops there any longer than necessary.
What I find interesting about this selection is that many of the Bush critics admit that things are going okay there and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even TIME magazine's Joe Klein is skeptical of the Left's "RUSH FOR THE EXIT": Joe Klein frames the debate this way: "
The most passionate discussions in Washington last week were about the past—whether the President intentionally misled the country into war—not the future. They are a waste of time. Two questions need to be addressed. Will an American withdrawal from Iraq create more or less stability in the Middle East? Will a withdrawal increase or decrease the threat of another terrorist attack at home? It does not matter whether you believe the war is right or wrong. If the answers to those questions are less stability and an empowered al-Qaida, we'd better think twice about slipping down this dangerous path."I don't think Bush will take us down that dangerous path, the path which the Dem/Left Doves (who now control the party, again) would prefer - the path they took us down in 1975 when they abandoned the South Vietnamese government and the Vietnamese people. Thank God we have a president who won't abandon a fledgling democracy and a new ally. And thank God we have a president who will soon leverage our victory in Iraq into new victories over the islamothugs in Syria and Iran - and their jihadoterrorist stooges in southern Lebanon and Gaza and the West Bank, and in Kashmir, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Afghanistan, Jordan, etc. etc. etc. ... NO END BUT VICTORY!