An amazing thing happened on Thanksgiving: the Iraqi Parliament peacefully agreed to a slow withdrawal of our troops that would have Americans out of Iraq by 2012. This act, above all other acts in the five years since we toppled Saddam Hussein's regime, is the victory we have wanted for so long. Despite the propaganda from the White House, the Pentagon and others about timetables, this is exactly what we all wanted. There is no greater sign of our victory that our free Iraqi allies and our diplomats hashing out a consensus on withdrawal and the Iraqi Parliament, without violence, passing the resolution by a majority. Victory doesn't mean the war is over, but that its ending faster than any of us imagined.
With our mission accomplished in Iraq (we should take that phrase back, in my opinion), we cannot be blinded to the fact that the War On Terror is not over by a long shot. A success itself, Afghanistan still requires our help in the pacification of the Taliban and Al-Qeada bandits that still throw out massive offenses each spring and summer. The drug trade in Afghanistan also requires our attention as a massive amount of funds to the terrorists come from the poppy/herion trade. All this must be looked too as our troops hold their head high as they leave a stable, democratic Iraq behind.
The biggest threat, though, is not the Taliban or even Osama bin Laden's group. Not anymore. The biggest threat is the hydra known as Jihad, as proven by the co-ordinated and cowardly attack on civilians in Mumbai, India. Since we've taken out most of AQ's command and control, the strategy has become one of ideological infection. The biggest threats are no longer foreigners crossing borders (though that tactic should not be ignored), it is home grown radicals and misguided misfits hoping for a place in history that aim their rifles and bombs at the innocent. London was an example of this. Even in my former home of Canada, several homegrown terrorists planned a massive attack upon the Canadian parliament, though their operation was very, very amateurish.
As during the Cold War, this is a war of ideas as much as it is a war of soldiers. We must not simply just fight them with guns, but with our words and our thoughts. We must make the citizens of the world totally reject that mass murder is a legitimate tool of petitioning one's government over an issue. We must also wipe out the idea that radical Islamist terror is blowback, a term the left has perverted for their own agenda. Any number of our covert and overt operations has created blowback in the Middle East and Near Asia, but that digresses from the fact that committing heinous acts of mass violence for a radical religious pan-Muslim nation is an inherent aspect of radical Islamist terror, not a symptom of our foreign policy.
Cross-posted at Generation Patriot