Interesting and unusual perspective:
Singapore’s elder statesman, Lee Kuan Yew, sheds fascinating light on another question dominating discussion in the last year — are we losing in Iraq? Lee recalls that, not long after the Vietnam conflict ended, he argued that America may have lost in Indochina but that those 58,000 American lives were not sacrificed in vain. They bought time for the rest of East Asia to attain economic prosperity and stability — and the communists exhausted themselves in the struggle. Judged by the snapshot of 1975, America lost the battle. But in the longer term, it won the war for the wider region.
Many years hence, will Iraq come to be viewed in the same light? From 2005, the jihadi world was riven by a dispute between al-Qaeda’s Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his mentor, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. Al-Maqdisi stated that al-Zarqawi’s priorities were askew. Iraq was the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time. It was rapidly becoming a “crematory” for the flower of Islamist youth. No energies were left for wider Islamist revolution elsewhere in the region.
Although al-Zarqawi was killed, he has for now won the debate.