The first, by Bret Stephens from the indispensable WSJ opinion page, notes that Iraqis are troubled by the prospect of an Obama presidency. The reason is simple and obvious: a precipitous US withdrawal, the obviously declared plan of the Democratic candidate even if it is not his intention to carry it out, leaves Iraq, currently enjoying its most peaceful period ever, subject to the same sectarian warfare and ultimate domination by the extremist mullahs of Iran that seriously threatened it not so many months ago.
The second is not so remarkable in its message--that the world is safer thanks to the actions of one George Walker Bush--as in its source, Britain's left-wing Guardian. From a marvelously terse column by one Oliver Kamm, we quote this gem of a paragraph:
The most fundamental decision in western security policy in the past seven years has not been the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. It has been the recognition that the most voluble adversaries of western society are not merely a criminal subculture, and still less an incipient liberation movement. Rather, they are a reactionary, millenarian and atavistic force with whom accommodation is impossible as well as intensely undesirable.
And so, Kamm concludes:
Whoever succeeds Bush as president will benefit from some decisions well conceived if often badly executed. So will America's allies.
Which takes us to the latest polling. Obama, despite his many political advantages, currently leads He Who Will Be Bush's Third Term by an average of merely four percent. In our view the race is close because, uncomfortable as people are with Bush's legacy, they don't trust that the solutions are as painless as the Democratic left insists.