Dec 27, 2003 1:43 am


I am planning a longer piece on this topic but the growing disconnect between reality and perception on our progress needs an immediate correction. It is important to recognize that we are making enormous progress.

A 1. Jihadists, Moslem anti Semites and radical clerics no longer operate under the radar screen.

2. The international civil society no longer blames all the world's illS on Western transgressionS but begins to notice the villainy of tyrants. Note recent reports about the North Korean Kulag.

3. The UN reports on the Arab world are providing moderate Moslems with much needed ammunition against Islamists and their own autocratic governments.

4. They cheered Mahathir's speech not only because of its anti-Semitism but also because he said that the Islamic Culture of Death is INEFFECTIVE.

5. How much pressure is on al Qaeda now? Enough for an Egyptian Islamist lawyer by the name of Montasser el-Zayat to argue in a recent interview with AFP that al-Qaeda is dead. Zayat was imprisoned between 1981 and 1984 for belonging to Jamaa Islamiya, and has played an intermediary role between Jamaa and the government, when the group called a halt in 1998 to a wave of violence which claimed around 1,300 lives in the 1990s. Zayat who claims to be in e-mail contact with al-Qaeda's number two, an Egyptian named Ayman al-Zawahiri, argued that the group was destroyed during the war in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States because"They no longer (have) the territory on which they were based, the (Taliban) government which supported them has been overthrown and the money they had in their hands has been frozen." Zayat went on to attribute Osama bin Laden's recent tapes to the al-Qaeda leader's wish"to reassure his friends and supporters that he is still present" amid rumors about his fate. Zayat acknowledges that al-Qaeda leaders can still spur"angry young people" into staging attacks worldwide but argues that those attacks are no longer coordinated." Indeed, the only reason Washington does not declare victory argues Zayat is"to justify their so-called war on terrorism." In other words, Zayat would like to explore ceasefire possibilities.

B. By going to war in Iraq, the American Gulliver reaped the ropes the Liliputions so carefully tied around it and the world knows it. Hence - 1. The Security Council resolution is passed 15 to0. Compare it to Resolution 1284 passed in 1998 after the Clinton administration made a major compromise to try and rebuild Security Council consensus and agrees to ease significantly the sanctions on Saddam only to have FRANCE, RUSSIA, CHINA AND MALAYSIA abstain!

2. It is the Chinese foreign minister, not Jimmy Carter, who read the riot act to the second member of the Axis of Evil - North Korea. Moreover, American relations with China, Japan and South Korea are excellent.

3. It was not Jimmy Carter but the foreign ministers of Germany, France and US ally Britain who went to Teheran to read the riot act to the third member of the Axis of Evil.

Now its not the time to rest on our laurels. Our sons and daughters are still dying and our enemies are surely busy reconfiguring their strategies. we have a long, hard slog ahead and hubris is the fastest road to defeat. Still, let's not lose by permitting our opponents TO throw enough sand in our eyes to obstruct the vision of our real progress.

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