Friday, June 09, 2006

Victory over Zarqawi

Back in 1988 I attended a state Republican convention in California with a campaign like button pinned to my shirt that said, "Victory over communism." I had no idea that a little over a year later the Berlin Wall would come down and victory would be achieved. Similarly I had not expected "Victory over Zarqawi" so soon. But now it's time to ask the question: Even though Zarqawi is dead, is Democracy in Iraq going to live as a result?

Claudia Rosett writes that Zarqawi death is an important victory for the United States
Zarqawi was found with the help of Iraqis, some of whom have been dancing in the streets to celebrate his death. In Iraq, that is a sign not only of opposition to terrorists but of the courage to stand up and defy them. It is of a piece with the decisions of millions of Iraqis over the last two years to turn out, despite death threats, to vote. They are telling each other, and the world, that they are willing to take large risks to build a decent, free society.
Further Rosett writes
this is an excellent moment to step back and look at just how far in this war we have come. Five years ago, al-Qaeda's commanders, from their safe haven in Afghanistan, were training thousands of terrorists and planning the Sept. 11 strike on a sleeping America. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein ruled by terror, with a record of exporting brutality and war from Baghdad at any opportunity to wherever he could reach - invading his neighbors, rewarding Palestinian suicide bombers, and openly rejoicing over Sept. 11.

Today, elected governments lead Afghanistan and Iraq, which has just completed its cabinet lineup. Bin Laden is afraid to venture out of hiding; Saddam, pulled from his spider hole, is on trial in Baghdad. And now, Zarqawi is dead, and the circumstances of his death may encourage decent people not only in Iraq but elsewhere to help hunt down his collaborators.
I believe and hope Ms. Rosett is correct.