Did you hear the wonderful news that came out over the weekend? If you actually heard that Iraq now has a permanent government, it was probably buried under reports of road-side bombs exploded and servicemen killed. Ralph Peters wrote up a great summary in his New York Post article of where we are in our war on terror.

* The mainstream media said it couldn’t be done, so the Iraqis did it: Under new Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, they formed a permanent government based on free elections. (Those free elections were supposed to be impossible, too – remember?)

Yes, Iraq could still break into bloody bits. But it hasn’t, despite ceaseless predictions of doom. Now the great danger isn’t from terrorists but from a premature troop draw-down before our midterm elections. We could throw it all away over a few congressional seats.

We are winning. But we can still lose if the cowards gain control and pull our talented service men and women from their assigned posts. Ralph continues with this theme:

* Al Qaeda has been broken. Yes, its remnants remain deadly. Yes, autonomous terror cells pose a growing threat. But the organization behind 9/11 has seen its surviving leaders driven into caves and remote villages where they live in constant fear. Islamist terror may have moved beyond al Qaeda, but our government and our military deserve credit for shattering the greatest international terror ring in history.

We have done incredible damage to al-Qaeda, but we can still lose this fight if our will as a nation to combat this evil is sapped away by negative news and political wimps. He finishes up with the following:

Plenty remains to be done. We must see our Iraq mission through to the end – unless the Iraqis fail themselves. We must restore integrity and common sense to our foreign policy by ceasing to pretend that the Saudis are our friends and by living up to our rhetoric about support for democracy. And we need to take a very hard line on China’s currency manipulation and cheating on trade.

Still, any fair-minded review of the last several years of American engagement abroad would conclude that, despite painful mistakes, we’ve changed the world for the better. The results have been imperfect, as such results always will be. But the bewildering sense of gloom and doom fostered my many in the media is as unjustified as it is corrosive.

Our global report card right now? A for effort. B for results. C for consistency. D for media integrity. And F for domestic political responsibility.

We haven’t been perfect in our fight against the terrorists, but we have achieved great things with our allies. 50 million people now live out from under the thumb of dictators, and a permanent government now sits in Iraq that was freely elected by the people. The nay-sayers said it couldn’t be done, but the Iraqis have shown that they can. Has President Bush handled everything perfectly? No, but he has done a better job than any of the alternatives.

And I can live with that.

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