My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


More on "Imperial Grunts"

One line in particular kept coming back to trouble me. On page 369 of the paperback version, Kaplan writes:

To be sure, the dicision to invest Al-Fallujah and then pull out just as victory was within reach demonstrated both the fecklessness and incoherence of the Bush administration. While a case can be made for either launching a full-scale marine assault or continuing the previous policy of individual surgical strikes, a case cannot be made for launching a full-scale assault only to reverse it because of political pressures that were easily foreseeable in the first place.

I think this very thing, this fecklessness, is what has caused both the Iraq campaign and the American political campaign to go down the crapper.

There was a time when the President was derided for his blunt talk, for "Bring it on" and for "whether we bring justice o our enemies, or bring our enemies to justice, justice will be served." But at the time that he spoke those words, everybody in the world believed him.

His biggest problem now is that the world does NOT believe the rhetoric any more. The world sees a man who, if he even bothers to talk the talk, has walked away from Moqtada al-Sadr, has refused to offer reprisals for Iranian and Syrian intervention in Iraq, has failed to follow the doctrine of "hot pursuit" in chasing al-Qaeda across the Pakistani border, and who seems to be on the brink of accepting both a nuclear North Korea and Iran. And don't underestimate the lesson the world learned this summer when this administration "encouraged" the Israelis to stop the offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In short, this President has allowed his administration to become the paper tiger bin Laden expected when he killed 3000 Americans five years ago.

And add to that the President's embrace (head fake?) of the Iraq Study Group Report, and those of us who appreciate the "rock in the storm" leader are struck with a body blow. Honestly, engage Iran and Syria to provide stability in Iraq?!?! Iran has the same interest in Iraqi stability that Hitler had in Czech stability circa 1938. Actually, Iran has a deep interest in stability in the middle east--one large caliphate that starts on the Arabian peninsula and extends all the way around the Mediterrainean Sea to Andalusia and Algeria would be a very stable region. Not a very healthy one for Israel, but stable.

Pile on to the ISG the words of the nominee for SecDef:

Senator Byrd I think that military action against Iran would be an absolute last resort, that any problems that we have with Iran, our first options should be diplomacy and working with our allies to try and deal with the problems that iran is posing to us. I think that we have seen in Iraq that once war is unleashed it becomes unpredictable, and I think that the consequences of a conflict, a military conflict with Iran, could be quite dramatic and therefore I would counsel against military action except as a last resort and if we felt that our vital interests were threatened.

and I have the distinct feeling that the President has lost the nerve for the fight. Not the will--I think he still sees Islamic Fascism as the major threat to America in the 21st century; but he no longer is either willing or able to make the case to the American people that the war is going to be long and difficult, but necessary to win on every front that presents itself.

Is there anybody in the world who feels any more foolish than Moammar Khaddafi. Nothing worse than being the first tyrant to capitulate to to someone who, it turns out, never would have had the stones to come after you in the first place.

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