Victor Davis Hanson has it exactly right in today's column:
THIS NEW YEAR, Americans should reflect on what we have accomplished in over three years of hard war since being attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. The Taliban and Saddam Hussein are gone -- but without the envisioned millions of refugees and hundreds of thousands of dead. Women lined up to vote in Afghanistan, of all places. Baathist criminals are to go on trial in Baghdad.
American troops are no longer guarding Wahhabist Saudi Arabia. For the first time since the 1950s, long-needed military redeployments are also underway from Germany to South Korea. Elections are days away in Iraq. There has not been another Sept. 11-style attack here at home, despite our enemies' continual threats to trump their earlier foul work. Osama bin Laden is said to be a cultural icon, but why then can't he show his face publicly for a single moment anywhere in the world?
Hanson then considers some of the events that cast a pall over these accomplishments, but concludes:
The suicide bombs and explosions that go off daily in Iraq are not proof that Americans are losing the Sunni Triangle, but rather that thousands of secular and religious fascists are desperate not to lose their entire Middle East.
Read the entire essay. And let us see what will happen in the weeks and months following the historic Iraqi election later this January.