The Dems half empty view of post Iraq war world

Victor Davis Hanson:

"Thematic in the Democratic primary campaign is that the United States is worse off now than it was before the invasion of Iraq. The harangues from some of the candidates have been quite unbelievable: Saddam Hussein's capture did little to improve our security; we cannot prejudge bin Laden's guilt; we are less safe than ever before and hated to boot; and so on.


"Nothing comes cheaply in Iraq, and 500 Americans tragically are dead, a fatality rate as great as those murdered in either Chicago or Los Angeles last year. Perhaps over $100 billion has been spent already. Bombing and sniping continue. Yet is it really true, as the Democrats allege, that the United States is in a worse situation than before the March invasion? Indeed, if we look at the situation empirically, the very opposite seems the case. Consider first the map itself.

"We were warned that 'preemption' in Iraq would give the green light to Pakistan and India to go to war. In fact, India's economy and culture are more America-oriented than ever before, and Pakistan seems more afraid that such new ties with the United States will leave it odd man out. Both sides are seeking to cool down the crisis. Whatever the wisdom of supporting President Musharraf, at least his country is no longer an unexamined sanctuary for the world's worst terrorists, and a growing democratic opposition there is rivaling the Islamicists. In fact, Pakistan is in internal foment, as fundamentalists for the first time in a decade are under scrutiny and are unsure whether their full theocratic agenda will ever be enacted. Even the madrassas sense that Mr. Karzai and the Iraqi Democratic Council are openly above ground, while Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden have not been for the last six months.


"And what about the locus of our purported catastrophe in Iraq? We cannot even compare the sniping, however wretched, to missiles raining across borders, no-fly zones, broken armistices, ignored U.N. mandates, U.N.-introduced food embargoes, massive foreign invasions, bounties awarded for suicide killings, genocide, destruction of the environment, and looting of oil revenues to buy imported weaponry. For all the chaos we supposedly created, we no longer have mass graves, but instead Shiites demonstrating for democratic elections and Kurds hammering out plans for a federal state. Instead of Baathists slaughtering students, the current controversy is whether to depose Saddamites from university faculties. And the full effect of the war remains to be seen, when the neighbors of Iraq will watch in horror at free elections and debates. It isn't easy there, but when or where has the creation of civilization in place of barbarism ever been effortless?"


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