Tuesday, September 28, 2004

"The terrorists are losing"

In today's Washingon Post, David Ignatius discusses the ideas of a French Arabist, of all people:

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has been toppled; the fence-sitting semi-Islamist regime in Saudi Arabia has taken sides more strongly with the West; Islamists in Sudan and Libya are in retreat; and the plight of the Palestinians has never been more dire. And Baghdad, the traditional seat of the Muslim caliphs, is under foreign occupation. Not what you would call a successful jihad...

Perhaps it takes an outsider -- a Frenchman, even -- to help Americans see the war on terrorism in perspective. Saturated in terrorism alerts and images of violence from Iraq, Americans may miss the essential fact that the terrorists are losing.

Update: William F. Buckley, who calls the French Arabist an "anti-Bush jihad expert," asserts that for Bush to succeed in Thursday's debate, he must accomplish the difficult task of planting perspectives such as the Arabist's.

(Washington Post link via Andrew Sullivan. Buckley link via Roger L. Simon.)