Rick Brookheiser proposes a superior alternative to the conclusions of the Iraq Study Group: Kill our enemies, quickly.
We have played the Iraq War various ways. Gen. Tommy Franks drove to Baghdad and resigned. Paul Bremer fired the Iraqi Army and called a constitutional convention. A constitution got written, and most Iraqis rallied to it, but the men of blood continued their work. Lately we have been appealing to Sunni tribal leaders—with some success, though not enough. By this ass-backward route, we have arrived at the place we were in Afghanistan on Halloween of 2001, three and a half weeks into Operation Enduring Freedom, with everyone in a tizzy and the late R.W. Apple savoring the “the ominous word ‘quagmire.’” The solution then was to stop worrying about the effects of our actions on the long-term fate of the country and to kill as many Taliban as possible. Which we did, and which led to victory. (Yes, the Taliban are still out there; no one said freedom is easy.) The solution now is to put 30,000 troops into Baghdad, without stripping Anbar, and kill the enemies of order. If the generals say they don’t need 30,000 more troops, find new generals.
Livy was another old writer—a historian, not a poet. He said that when the ancient Romans were digging the foundations of a Temple of Jupiter, they uncovered a bleeding head (commemorated in the word capitol, which comes from caput, the Latin for “head”). The state begins in violence. Free states give way to order and peace, but they too begin there.
This is not international social work, or finishing a job. Since the violent in Iraq include Al Qaeda, and terrorist wannabes, killing them is a twofer. Let the end begin.
Dominique R. Poirier
This comment applies also to Victor Davis Hanson’s article.
In opting for such an option a lot of real and faked civilian casualties could be expected and overhyped, doubtless. This radical way of solving the problem has just been unsuccesfuly attempted by the Israeli in Southern Lebanon. If ever this option was put under way, and I doubt it will be anyway, the U.S. forces would soon antagonize themselves both against the whole Iraqi population and against the whole world too. U.S. would marginalize itself at the U.N. and further dire consequences would have to be expected soon, let alone the quite probable risk to see the whole region, and Muslim people all around the world turning mad at Americans. In turn, I think, it could entail troubles as unexpected as seeing Russian and French ralliying openly under a same banner in order to ask for a resolution against the U.S. at the U.N. Security Council. The image of the U.S., at home as abroad, would be put down the river for decades to come.
Either attacking straight Iran or withdrawing from the region would be still less costly than to resort to such extreme measures since such an option tantamounts to venturing further in the unknown.
There was neither media nor public opinion during the Peloponesian Wars.
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Colin Powell: ‘U.S. is losing’…
On a day that saw Democrat Harry Reid give his, and presumably the Democrats, permission for the increase of U.S. troops in Iraq, the former SecState, Colin Powell, said it probably wouldn’t help. From the International Herald Tribune:In one of…
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