INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Mileposts: As President Bush's term winds down, signs are there that the war on terror is being won. The conflict in Iraq is ebbing, and worldwide terror attacks are down. When will someone call it what it is? VICTORY.
Back from the front, Gen. David Petraeus called on Congress Thursday to begin considering a drawdown of U.S. troops after five years of war. Violence in Iraq has plunged to its lowest levels since 2004, and al-Qaida is a tattered shadow of its formerself — key leaders dead, successors weak and recruiting down.
"My sense" Petraeus said, "is I will be able to make a recommendation (in the autumn) for further reductions."
This is no Saigon-style exit, but a coming victorious end of a long conflict. U.S. forces have pounded al-Qaida into irrelevance.
Using highly disciplined Special Forces strikes, advanced intelligence and communications, and local allies in the right places, 155,000 U.S. troops have been crushing a vicious enemy motivated by no rational forces in a war with no precedent.
They are winning against all odds, overcoming not just terrorists, but other obstacles such as a lumbering Pentagon bureaucracy and weak-kneed Western intelligentsia whose media toadies trump every military error and harp on every isolated bad deed.
Now proven wrong, these same critics retaliate by ignoring what is a very big story.
Worldwide terror attacks have fallen off 40% since 2001, according to a study by Canada's Human Security Report Project, and support for al-Qaida in the Arab world has collapsed. The study found terror attacks had been overcounted because Iraq War atrocities distorted the figures. Security gains elsewhere included even sub-Saharan Africa, where the improvement was called "extraordinary."
Just as the conflict in Iraq is coming to a close, two related terror wars — in Spain and Colombia — are also seeing signs of victory.
Working with France's tough, savvy police forces, Spanish authorities on Tuesday arrested Javier Lopez Pena, the top terrorist of the Marxist ETA group responsible for 800 killings since 1968.
Lopez himself broke a cease-fire negotiated in 2006 and, assuming Spain wouldn't fight, resumed his bombings. His al-Qaida-linked group is now headless and unlikely to cause the same trouble. Sealing ETA's doom was the Spanish government's decision to confront rather than negotiate with the thugs, and then join with France.
Even more impressive, the FARC terrorist group in Colombia has been reduced to a ghostly remnant of its former self, unable to make payroll and its leaders terrified of being slaughtered by its remaining 9,000 foot soldiers out to collect government rewards.
Its leader, Raul Reyes, was killed in an airstrike March 1, and six other commanders have been either blown away or jailed.
This week, FARC commander Nelly Avila Moreno put down arms, admitted the FARC is "crumbling" and pleaded with her comrades to surrender. More than 1,000 FARC fighters, seeing no future against superior firepower and a united public, have done so.
FARC's terrorists can no longer communicate with each other except by messenger and are running out of money. Colombia's people completely despise it and are turning them in. Thursday, Colombia's army unearthed a huge FARC arsenal in the jungle, taking two tons of bombs and 8,000 land mines from FARC's bloody hands.
From the deserts of Iraq to the villages of Spain to the jungles of Colombia, these victories against terrorist groups are all linked. They are the result of using proven tactics, holding together resolutely, cooperating with other nations to share and deliver intelligence, and forming united fronts. When this happens, terrorists cannot flourish. Recent successes show that these wars are winnable.
So why are the mainstream media so eager to ignore this news, and let their dour view slant their coverage? By failing to recognize the emerging victory over terrorism, the media only damage public morale and give the terrorists hope.
But in the Internet age, the media can't hide the news forever: Victories are beginning to emerge from Iraq and beyond. Maybe the news media should drop their bias and catch up with reality.