Outside The Beltway links to Thomas Friedman this morning. Now, usually, I don’t bother linking to the Times, and longtime readers will know why; I think my local penneysaver is a more credible source, plus the registration system is a pain in the ass, and far too instrusive.. why should I use my blog to send them traffic?

That said, Freidman says, in part:

In part the Arab-Muslim world is reaping something it sowed. Way too many Arab intellectuals and religious and political leaders were ready to extol suicide bombing when it was directed against Israelis. Now they are seeing how this weapon of nihilism – once sanctified and glorified – can be used against their own societies. It was wrong when it was used against Jews, and it is wrong when it is used against Muslims. You can’t build a decent society on the graves of suicide bombers and their victims.

But these bombings are also signs of the deeper struggle that the U.S. attempt to erect democracy in Iraq has touched off. My friend Raymond Stock, the biographer and translator of Naguib Mahfouz and a longtime resident of Cairo, argues that we are seeing in Baghdad, Cairo and Riyadh the modern incarnation of several deeply rooted and interlocking wars. These are, he said, the war within Islam between Traditionalists and Rationalists, which dates back to Baghdad in the ninth century; the struggle between ardent Sunnis and Shiites, which dates back to succession battles in early Islam; and the confrontation between Islam and the West, which dates back to the Arab conquests of the seventh century and the Crusades.

In the modern incarnation of each of these struggles, members of the Sunni-Traditionalist-jihadist minority are losing. And the more that becomes evident, the more violent they will become – because their whole vision is in danger of being repudiated by fellow Arabs and Muslims

And there, my freinds is the point I’ve been making all along.

Yes, the violence is higher, for the moment. But this is not a sign of our having lost, but of our having WON.