Monday, February 28, 2005


This may wander a bit, but bear with me...

First stray thought: might it just be that 2005 will turn out to be the same sort of annus mirabilis that 1989 was?

Think of it: last year, 2004, started off auspiciously with the aftermath of the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2002. But things got ugly after that. The insurgency was hanging in there, staging kidnappings, beheadings, and other forms of slaughter. Things didn't get any better after the handover in June, either. There was the aborted assault on Fallujah in the spring, which was somewhat inconclusive.

This year is starting off much better. And not just in Iraq.

In late 2004, elections in Afghanistan. In early 2005, elections in Palestine. Then Iraq. Promises of elections of a sort in Egypt, and even Saudi Arabia (but I'll believe that when I see it). And now, pretty soon, probably some elections in ... Lebanon.

Can you see the wave? It crashed ashore in Eastern Europe in 1989, and washed away the specter of nuclear annihilation. I can smell the sea salt, and I can see the whitecaps ... it's coming ashore. This time, God willing, it will wash away the specter of burgeoning Islamofascism.

Second stray thought: much as it pains me to say this, could it be that George W. Bush was right about the key strategic question of our day? Not so right in the methods he's chosen for going about it, mind you, but on the question itself. He was labelled a fool, an idiot, for linking the spread of democracy with the war on terrorism. When The Wave crashes to shore, the Islamofascists are desperately afraid that's exactly what will happen. Al-Zarqawi has said as much in his own words.

And now we have this from VodkaPundit.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a bellow of pain.

I'd have preferred to go about it differently. A few more months to smooth feathers internationally beforehand, perhaps. Going that little extra mile. Not going out of our way to antagonize nations that have been friends and allies in the past. But these are tactical questions.

The President is essentially right about the strategic question. It's time to give him some props for that.

It's also time to start thinking through a sensible Democratic foreign policy, but I've already said that.

Third stray thought: And now we come to the title of this post. I'm convinced now that this is Islamofascism's "von Paulus at Stalingrad" moment. Islamofascism's in general, and Osama bin Laden's in particular. How bitter this must be for him! To paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson, you can stand on a hill in eastern Afghanistan and look west, and with just the right kind of eyes, you can see the high-water mark where Islamofascism's wave crested, and fell back. In a weird way, I'm glad we didn't put paid to him at Tora Bora. I'm glad he's survived to witness these moments. He will die, eventually, with the searing knowledge of his utter DEFEAT burned indelibly into his synapses. Yes, this, too, is justice.

But that's a chewed bone. Who's next on the batting order? Lebanon has volunteered to be the next place to be liberated, and Syria seems to have volunteered to be the receiving team.

Bashar al-Assad ain't all that bright. He ought to know by now that when America starts pulling on its butt-kicking boots, someone's about to get a shoe-leather enema. What sort of idiot volunteers for it?

And we might have some assistance from an odd quarter. Could it be -- France? It would appear that Rafik Hariri, the ex-PM that got the dynamite birthday cake, was a good friend of none other than Blaque Jacques Shellaque. Could come in handy, that. As much as I enjoy dogging the French, the L'egion Etrangere are a useful bunch of lads to have around come throw-down time. I'm pretty sure that between them and a division of Marines, the Syrians can be tossed out of Lebanon in short order. The aftermath could be messy, given that Hezbollah and that lot have had plenty of time to dig in. But the important thing will have been done. Getting a butt-kicking in Lebanon will be a career-ending injury for our erstwhile optometrist. It might even be fatal for the Baath Party in Syria. That might be too much to hope for. But, good God, it would be simply glorious to see the end of the last bastion of Arab National Socialism!

Yes, sports fans, I chose those words deliberately. Baathists have more than a little in common with our old friend of the funny moustache and the Final Solution.

There was a bleak winter's day when Field Marshal von Paulus knew that he was utterly screwed. There will soon be a bright spring day when bin Laden and his lot will realize the same thing. I will look back on these days in my old age, and remember fondly when freedom crashed ashore, a second time in my life. I was lucky to see it once. It is more than my worth to see it again.

What a time to be alive! What a time to be free!

UPDATE: Tuesday, 3/1/05, 3:30 PM CST: Assad seems to be showing signs of belated intelligence.

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