Fouad Ajami is always worth reading and his article in today's Wall Street Journal is no exception. He reminds us why we went to war in Iraq:
"When a calf falls, a thousand knives flash," goes an Arabic proverb. The authority of this administration is ebbing away, the war in Iraq is unloved, and even the "loyalists" now see these years of panic and peril as a time of exaggerated fear.
It is not easy to tell people of threats and dangers they have been spared. The war put on notice regimes and conspirators who had harbored dark thoughts about America and who, in the course of the 1990s, were led to believe that terrible deeds against America would go unpunished. A different lesson was taught in Iraq. Nowadays, the burden of the war, in blood and treasure, is easy to see, while the gains, subtle and real, are harder to demonstrate. Last month, American casualties in Iraq were at their lowest since 2003. The Sunnis also have broken with al Qaeda, and the Shiite-led government has taken the war to the Mahdi Army: Is it any wonder that the critics have returned to the origins of the war?
Five months from now, the American public will vote on this war, in the most dramatic and definitive of ways. There will be people who heed Ambassador Crocker's admonition*. And there will be others keen on retelling how we made our way to Iraq.
*"In the end, how we leave and what we leave behind will be more important than how we came."