As much as we might wish to celebrate the removal of the Hussein family as a threat to their own and other civilizations, other dictators and "evil ones," as President Bush likes to call them, will confront us. According to the Jerusalem Post (July 21) (which quotes a "senior Israel Defense Force officer "), Hamas, one of the most militant of the terrorist groups in the region, is using the cease-fire negotiated between the Palestinian Authority and Israel to build more than 1,000 Kassam rockets in an effort to change the balance of power in the region. An Israeli brigade commander in Gaza is quoted as saying that should hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians resume, it will be "much more violent." The newest Palestinian textbooks used at virtually all grade levels make sure that a new generation of children will be indoctrinated in the same hatred of Jews and the West that has infected their parents' generation.
On the domestic political front, it seems critics of the Bush administration are being set up for a mighty fall. After calling President Bush a liar and deceiver for getting America into a war to topple Saddam Hussein, the Democratic presidential candidates and not a few newspaper editorial pages and columnists will have a lot of crow to eat for suggesting the post-war situation is going badly and the administration had no post-war plans. Now that Uday and Qusay are identified as having died in the well-coordinated attack in Mosul, and if Saddam himself is taken dead or alive, if celebrating occurs in the streets, and if something like self-rule is slowly established in Iraq, what will the likes of John Kerry, Joe Lieberman and especially Howard Dean, the most critical of all of the presidential candidates, say then?
Much could still go wrong, but much could also go right. Are the president's critics prepared for success? The president's supporters are. And so are the long-suffering Iraqi people.
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