For decades the Arab world was stable, unchanging, held so by tyrants who were the masters of their people. Today Libya's Gadhafi is dead. Iraq's Saddam is hanged. Egypt's Mubarak is standing trial for his life on charges of the murder of his people.
Osama bin Laden is dead. Al Qaeda in Iraq, after summoning to its flag the greatest fighters inspired by the call to jihad, was destroyed and discredited by Iraqi tribesmen and the military forces of the American-led Coalition.
We have suffered the loss of several thousand of our very finest, and we have spent a massive amount of treasure. It is not clear that our efforts in Afghanistan have any road to success. Our efforts in Iraq have established a nation that is as free and independent as some of us ever wanted; but it is probably more free and independent than our political leadership really intended.
Iran and North Korea remain unfree; and in the chaos of the age, we cannot know what will come out of North Africa -- or Europe, for that matter. Much is at stake.
In such times as these there is no surer guard than a good blade in a trained hand, and the brotherhood of the brave. In that regard at least, we may face this fearsome age with as much tranquility as anyone.