The bad news is the good news: Governments of Spain and South Korea denounced the terrorism and promised to stay the course in Iraq. Both governments have sent noncombat troops to aid in Iraqi reconstruction. "There are no frontiers in the battle against terrorism," Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar Lopez said. In Japan, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi promised that neither the deaths nor al-Qaida threats would alter its commitment: "There will be no change in Japan's policy of providing humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in Iraq."
But for people like Gephardt, there is never any good news, no silver linings: "A foreign policy that drives away natural allies in the war against terrorism does our country no good, and shortchanging domestic security puts our citizens here at home at undue risk," he said, calling for a $100 billion spending spree on "homeland security."
There is no way to build a wall around America, no way to guarantee that no terrorist attack will ever again take place on American soil. But the Bush strategy combines an international attack on al-Qaida that has clearly disrupted its ability to attack America, a strong warning to sympathetic governments that give even passive aid and comfort to terrorists, and an aggressive attorney general named Ashcroft here at home, with the first hope (glimmering but not yet realized) of a decent, Islamic, democratic government in the Middle East.
Nothing is perfect. From where I sit, the news looks pretty good.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.