“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good News to be Thankful For.

Here's a bit of good news that we have heard a little about lately. How long it will last we don't know but at least we can enjoy it today.
Road Map To Peace

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007 4:20 PM PT

War On Terror: A sketchy diagram of al-Qaida's defenses left behind by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may prove to be the key to victory in Iraq. Sometimes in the fog of war, the fog lifts.

It may not rank in the annals of warfare with the breaking of the Imperial Japanese Code, which led to our naval victory at Midway in World War II, or the cracking of the Nazi Ultra Codes, which Dwight Eisenhower said was decisive in the Allied victory. But a map left behind in a safe house by the deceased leader of al-Qaida in Iraq may have helped doom the jihadist cause.

Winston Churchill spoke of the "hinge of fate" — events on which the outcome of a war is later seen to have depended. For Churchill, it was El Alamein and the turning back of Erwin Rommel's vaunted Afrika Korps. "Before Alamein," he said, "we never had a victory. After Alamein, we never had a defeat."

The surge of Gen. David Petraeus that is winning Sen. Harry Reid's "lost" war is our El Alamein. The general's soldiers broke Al-Qaida's code when, last December in an al-Qaida safe house, they recovered a map drawn by Zarqawi. It gave U.S. war planners insight into how al-Qaida was able to move weapons, explosives, fighters and money into Baghdad.

The map showed four rings surrounding Baghdad where al-Qaida and its terrorist operatives were holed up in sort of an underground railroad for jihadists. With the aid of the map and the added surge troops, U.S. forces became lords of the rings, flushing al-Qaida out of its urban strongholds and picking them off as easy targets in the desert.

Al-Qaida was forced to flee Baghdad and tried to regroup in the northern city of Baqouba. A year ago al-Qaida in Iraq declared Baqouba as the capital of the Islamic State in Iraq. It also claimed to control Anbar and Diyala. Now Baqouba is al-Qaida's Dunkirk.

We're not attributing victory in Iraq to blind luck. Victory was achieved by brave U.S. troops who stormed places like Fallujah and made the lost province of Anbar safe for a news conference by a U.S. president.

It was that commitment and perseverance in the face of cut-and-run demands of the Democrats that won the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people and turned the tide against al-Qaida in Iraq.

Bush, like Churchill, pledged we would never surrender. Seeing that, and seeing U.S. troops in their towns and neighborhoods every day, Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders united against al-Qaida under the umbrella provided by U.S and increasingly skilled and numerous Iraq forces.

Even the New York Times, which had also proclaimed the war to be lost, reported Tuesday that people in Baghdad now move freely without fear, even at night. It reports that "20,000 Iraqis have returned to their Baghdad homes, a seeming trickle that may soon become a flood as the city springs back to life."

As the Associated Press reports: "Twilight brings traffic jams to the main shopping district of this once-affluent corner of Baghdad, and hundreds of people stroll past well-stocked vegetable stands, bakeries and butcher shops. To many in America, it seems little short of a miracle."

Not to President Bush and Gen. Petraeus. To them, it's the natural outcome of Ronald Reagan's famous strategy for winning the Cold War: "We win, they lose."
Things could turn on a dime. One well placed explosion could once again grab the MSM's attention. But for today and hopefully tomorrow and the next day, this is something to be thankful for.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The troops are coming home for Christmass, US and Brits.

    5,000 I think the number is, between the two.

    35,000 more, home for the Fourth of July Parades. Down to 100,000 troops in Iraq, this time next year.

    From there, who can tell for sure, but a continued gradual withdrawal through '09, until the second set of Iraq elections.

    Victory, fer sure

    Come hell or high water.

  3. "It should be of selective advantage for young children to be self-centered and relatively disinclined to perform altruistic acts based on personal principle."--Sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson

    To counter....

    "One of the earliest emotions that even tiny babies display is, admirably enough, empathy. In fact, concern for others may be hard wired into babies' brains. Plop a newborn down next to another crying infant, and chances are, both babies will soon be wailing away." -- Pat Wingert and Martha Brant

    "Researchers played for infants tapes of other babies crying. As predicted, that was enough to start the tears flowing. But when researchers played babies recordings of their own cries, they rarely began crying themselves." Wingert and Brant

    They quote Martin Hoffman, psychology professor at New York University: "There is some rudimentary empathy in place, right from birth. The intensity of the emotion tends to fade over time. Babies older than 6 months no longer cry but grimace at the discomfort of others. By 13 or 15 months, babies tend to take matters into their own hands. They'll try to comfort a crying playmate. What I find most charming is when, even if the two mothers are present, they'll bring their own mother over to help."

    from '--The Spiritual Brain'--Beauregard and O'Leary

    We can be thankful for that, we are not a totally fallen race from the git-go. We can be thankful that we don't have madrassas to totally brain wash our kids.