What do you do when you have so much to say, and so little interest in saying it?
Invading Iraq was the exact right thing to do, and that has proven to be indisputable. That hasn't stopped lots of people from trying, but their arguments such as Bush lied, no WMDs, we should have gone after bin laden, or Saddam would never have aligned with al-Qaeda are not only unsupportable, they are irrational to the point that merely acknowledging gives them entirely undeserved status.
Yet we're forced to deal with these people who hold absurd points of view because they just might succeed in accomplishing something that would lead to genocide, instability, and Americans being far less safe for generations to come – and that something is our abandonment of Iraq.
President Bush hasn't helped our cause much because he's been far weaker than those of us who supported the Iraq war had ever imagined he would be. And I should qualify that further because, amazingly, most people who believe in staying the course in Iraq still refuse to assign primary blame for current conditions to the President himself.
I had a short exchange this week with Jack Kelly, an otherwise astute and experienced commentator on Middle East matters who had written a terrific column in which he compared Iraq to WWII, the last war in which we accepted nothing less than unconditional surrender from our enemies. Mr. Kelly mentioned that President Bush had admitted he'd made mistakes, and Mr. Kelly proceeded to detail some of the major ones, but in the end, he returns to the familiar "we" as in, we, though presumably not you and me, collectively failed (to this point) in Iraq, and he concludes with a sentence I found utterly astounding: "It sounded Wednesday night as if President Bush is at long last prepared to light a fire under Mr. Maliki."
I told Mr. Kelly that he, along with virtually all other commentators who share his views, have failed to hold President Bush singularly accountable, and that the President's conduct of the whole Iraq situation had been reprehensible.insofar as he'd failed to define what he wanted done, failed to demand that his generals carry out his aims, and failed to allow the military to prosecute the war to a.successful conclusion – one that would likely have occurred long ago had we been less concerned about collateral damage and world opinion.
Mr. Kelly wrote to say:
"'Disgraceful' is way too strong. Bush has been heeding the counsel of his generals. The policy we have been pursuing in Iraq is largely what has been recommended by Gens. John Abizaid and George Casey."
Are you as shocked as I was?
I replied: If we are to accept your characterization, not only does Bush look weak and ineffective, but the generals do too. They, of course, were ineffective, but it's Bush fault. He, like Lincoln, should have made demands on them, not taken advice from them. That is to say, he should have weighed their input, then told them to get done what he wanted to happen
I added that I believed I'd used the word, "reprehensible," not "disgraceful," though both
would apply in lieu of a stronger word.
In my experience, it's primarily ex-Colonels, Ralph Peters, Jack Jacobs and David Hunt who have been willing to call a spade a spade in assessing all aspects of the Iraq war, and none of them are optimistic that Bush understands what it will really take to affect a satisfactory outcome.
But to get back to my opening point, There is no argument the wacko left can mount against Iraq that makes any sense, and what's worse, if they were to prevail, our world will be far more dangerous. Or to put it in terms some of these idiots might understand, Rich Lowry asked, if we leave Iraq, and a bloodbath ensues, will George Clooney then demand we go back in on humanitarian grounds?