This article from Fox News, if it turns out to be true, is a signal of the effectiveness of US policy in the Middle East. Iran is worried enough to sit down and talk nice and maybe continue permitting democracy to develop; I've always said that the collective leadership in Tehran could be dealt with without using military force, and if the Syrians are really willing to play nice, too, then we ought to be able to deal with Hamas and Hezbollah and the al Aqsa Martyrs and the like as they deserve to be dealt with. If these gangs were cut off from their sources of money and arms--no more Saudi cash, no more cash from Saddam, no more safe havens in Syria and Lebanon and Afghanistan, no more training in Libya, no more arms from France and Russia and China and North Korea, no more hiding out among the radicals in London and Paris--they would be crushable.
It seems to me that the new world order, enforced by a loose Anglo-American-European-East Asian coalition, is going to be a) No interference with democratic states; b) Tolerance for non-democratic states that are not genocidal internally or threatening to others externally; c) No tolerance for those who massacre their own people or threaten their neighbors; d) Extermination for terrorists. If we can move Syria and Iran from group C, where they are now, to group B, it will all have been worth it. If we can get either of them to move anywhere near group A, something greatly good for the whole of humanity will have happened. If we can get Iraq even halfway to group A, then the war is completely justified. And if we can wipe out the various international terrorist gangs, which is very obviously the next military step, that'll force the Palestinians to accept a peace deal and, perhaps, make Palestine a group B state on the way to being group A. Those are a lot of ifs, a whole lot of ifs. But I'm optimistic; I think we're on the way to a much more peaceful world five years from now. If we can get the Chinese to be responsible and tell Kim Jong Il to behave himself.