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The Most Important “Metric”

Sunday, August 21, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

As usual, Michael Barone is far ahead of the pundit pack in penning a crucial column on whether or not the GWOT is being won. Key graph:

Most important, support for terrorism in defense of Islam has “declined dramatically,” in the Pew report’s words, in Muslim countries, except in Jordan (which has a Palestinian majority) and Turkey, where support has remained a low 14 percent. It has fallen in Indonesia (from 27 to 15 percent since 2002), Pakistan (from 41 to 25 percent since 2004), Morocco (from 40 to 13 percent since 2004), and among Muslims in Lebanon (from 73 to 26 percent since 2002). Support for suicide bombings against Americans in Iraq has also declined. The percentage reporting some confidence in Osama bin Laden is now under 10 percent in Lebanon and Turkey and has fallen sharply in Indonesia.

Extrapolate the trend lines out, and the complete marginalization of terror within Islam is possible to see.

So ask yourself, what has caused the trend away from support for terror? Two candidates present themselves: The costs are too high because (1)the victims of terror have, since 9/11, fought back with extraordinary discipline and willingness to wage war wherever it is required and (2)Iraq’s January vote and constitution-drafting process hold out real hope of democratization and economic progress in lands where no hope existed until very recently.

It is all one war, and our side is winning.

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