To some, I suppose, the hideous slaughter of so many innocents in suicide bombings in southern Iraq is another reason to worry that the occupation is doomed. I have a different response. It reminds me why we are in this war in the first place. It reminds me of the nihilist, fascist forces that killed thousands in New York and Bali and Madrid. These forces were not created by the toppling of Saddam nor by the end of the Taliban. They are killing people in Saudi Arabia. They were there all along – and had to be fought and defeated at some point. They now realize that they must sow terror and mayhem in the new Iraq in order to prevent any kind of representative government and free society from forming. We have the difficult task of fighting them, while protecting innocents in a war where the enemy deliberately and cynically conflates the two. That isn’t easy anywhere – but better to have drawn these elements out and to fight them in a struggle for Arab and Muslim democracy than to play constant, fitful defense at home. If the Iraqi middle does not and cannot see that these elements have no future in mind for Iraq but theocratic state-terror, then we truly are in trouble. But that is not the case, and, in face of such atrocities against Arab and Muslim civilians, cannot conceivably be the case. So we fight on. And I mean: fight.