Friday, May 28, 2004
It looks like the politicians are once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq.
I give Bush credit for focus on the war on terorists, but he seems to worry more about global media attitudes than about the American people's desire to win when we fight.
Ralph Petters elucidates the game:
It's just as simple to tell when the diplomats have overruled our military: We agree to the proposed cease-fire.
And stop short of victory again.
Sadr's insurrection turned disastrous for him. His shabby legions are broken or dead, his influence has fallen from minor to trivial status, and he could hear a slamming cell door in his future (maybe those photos from Abu Ghraib had an upside, after all). So, emulating the terrorists in Fallujah, he struck a deal to save himself from our troops.
Now they (France) know exactly what to do in Iraq: Establish a firm deadline for the withdrawal of Coalition troops.
What would such a deadline achieve? It would guarantee the terrorists and Baathist assassins that they only have to hang on, that the Americans and British will be gone and la belle France will ensure that those uppity Kurds and any Arabs foolish enough to believe in democracy and human rights will be served up on a platter to the Middle East's latest consortium of murderers.
The strategy of the terrorists in Fallujah, of Sadr's ragtag murderers and of our French "allies" is exactly the same: Limit the number of quarters in the game, then call as many time-outs as necessary to let Team Terror recover whenever the Coalition offense threatens to score.
The administration's response? A ref from the United Nations. Guess who's going to get called "out of bounds"?
Has our president's courage failed because he faces an electoral contest against a spineless man who believes in nothing? It's painful enough to despair for Iraq. One begins to despair for America.
Is Bush willing to betray the future of Iraq, the War on Terror, America's security, and the sacrifice of our soldiers' lives to win in November?
By assigning greater importance to an election than to the war, Bush is apt to lose both. The winners will be the terrorists and the forces of repression.
Our war in Iraq is winnable, and the peace in Iraq is winnable. But you can't win any game if you fold at half-time.
It is a cliche about how politicians ought to control the military, but when we look at the job our politicians have done with the military the last 40 years, their isn't much for the pols to be proud of.
posted by Mark Butterworth |