But absent from Friedman's article (let us see what the four remaining parts bring) is a realization of how close-run President Bush's effort is. He forgets that the natural conclusion from the premise of intractable Islamic hatred is that the West may be forced not so much to befriend its tormentors so much as destroy them utterly. Friedman's own article is proof of how steadily, yet imperceptibly, the tides have risen in the course of the war itself. What would have been unprintable in any major American newspaper in November, 2001 -- immediately after the attack on New York city -- now seems so hopelessly weak that one cannot but wonder how close the crisis point is. And it is Islam, not the West, that is skirting the edge of the abyss.
This is why I see success in this war as so important.