Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Hanson on the third phase

Victor Davis Hanson thinks that we are now in the "third phase" of the war on terror: "A desperate last-ditch war of attrition in which our enemies feel that bombing, suicide murdering, assassination, and general terrorism against Westerners the world over might still achieve what conventional military operations did not. The idea is to make life so miserable for Iraqis, and so dangerous for foreigners, that the United States will withdraw, thus allowing either a fascist autocracy or terrorist theocracy — in the manner of the Taliban or an Afghan warlord — to emerge from the chaos." Those who think that the latest attacks indicate that our enemies are gaining the upper hand wrong. "We are indeed entering a third phase. But it is not quite what most people think, since it has brought a brutal clarity to the conflict that the terrorists may not have intended. For those who were still unsure of the affinities between the West Bank killers once subsidized by Saddam, Baathist fedeyeen, the Taliban, and al Qaedist terrorists, the similarity in method, the identical blood-curling rhetoric, and the eerie timing of slaughtering during peace negotiations and efforts at civil reconstruction should establish the existence of a common enemy. It has been fighting us all along — a general fascism, now theocratic, now autocratic, that seeks to divert the Middle East from the forces of modernization and liberalization." Read the whole thing.

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