Col. Austin Bay has posted "The Coming Arab Revolt" over on the Strategy Page. It's important; read his bio on the first link, then read his essay.
A major component of the fog of this war has been selective media coverage. We get literally days of punditry on any unsourced criticism of the administration, video and photo avalanches whenever the horrors of war happen, and a total absence of substantive establishment media commentary framed in terms of the published threats and actions of Islamofascists.
America's reaction to 9-11 -- specifically, its strategic offensive reaction -- is taking the gun out of hands of tyrants and terrorists. Removing Saddam Hussein began the reconfiguration of the politically dysfunctional Arab Muslim Middle East -- a dangerous, expensive process, but one that gives Middle Eastern moderates the chance to build states where the consent of the governed creates legitimacy and where terrorists are prosecuted, not promoted.
America's Liberal/Leftist demographic has chosen sides. No, they don't look forward to a golden age of sharia rule and the end of Western civilization. They don't look that far down the road. What is left of the Democrat party and their kindred spirits in media, academia, and pop intelligentsia have instead judged the world on their "how things should be" scale and decided that the global Islamofascist threat doesn't impact them nearly as immediately as does George W. Bush's presidency and the looming potential of the ownership society to drive a stake through what is left of contemporary elitist liberalism.
You can't have plantations without slaves.
Col. Bay cites several critical events that have occurred over the course of campaign against Islamist terror. He goes on to predict a coming wave of popular rejection of despotism across the Muslim world. When was the last time any high-profile correspondent laid down in a list what has been accomplished in this war?
Was there a first time?
The explosion of debate, critique, and commentary by individuals via the web has had an undeniable influence on the ability of MSM to define issues, yet institutional media still enjoys a wide cachet of credibility and more importantly remains the sole source of information for a substantial, if dwindling, client base.
We are fighting a world war. The stakes are every bit as high as in the three we had a hand in winning the last century. The nature of the battlefield has changed the moments of decision by which victory can be measured from climactic battles or territorial gains instead to a much more subtle standard. Today we must remove the cancers of the middle eastern body politic and then wait for the patient to recover and become a functional member of society.
Americans hate to wait for anything. See the problem, fix the problem, move on. Conservatives are especially susceptible to the reflex; liberals had half a century to deliver on their agendas and ended being rejected because they never got around to solving the problems they embraced in their platforms. Our predilection for demanding elegant solutions is a serious asset for our enemy. Media living inside its news cycles and politicians who mark epochs from one election to the next also recognise opportunities for themselves, too, arising from this reality. The job to be done is before us, but it will take time to change the inertia of literally thousands of years of tribalism, despotism, and hatred.
Blacks were lynched in our own south for a century following the Civil War. We still have troops stationed in Germany. We wrote Japan's constitution. Kosovo has been a U.N. protectorate for coming on eight years with no hope of local elections in sight...yet the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the surrender of Libya's WMD programs, the absence of any reprise of 9/11 on our shores, and the recent elections in Afghanistan and the coming elections in Iraq are never reported as victories in their own rights but as mere timestamps in a presumptively failed strategy.
I believe that when we win this war it will come as a surprise to a huge number of people. Victories have occurred - victories every bit as momentous as Midway or the race across France - and the enemy is brutally aware of where the initiative lies. We will not win this war by killing the last terrorist with our last bullet. This war will be won when the freed populations of middle eastern nations are strong enough to pursue their own futures. Islamofascists were enraged by our influences on their barbaric regimes from a hemisphere away. Think of the effect of successful, free Muslim nations next door and their brutal tactics of suicide bombings and beheadings fail to surprise.
Those that limit themselves to what corporate media tells them or by their own blinkered political prejudices are incapable of understanding the changes our world is undergoing. They are opting out of participating in solutions and are instead embracing an almost clinical state of insularity that cannot help but make them more angry, depressed, and paranoid than they already are.
Update: h/t to Instapundit, LGF, Protein Wisdom, and Wichita Boy.
Update: Fixed the link to Col. Bay's article. *sigh*