Alexander M. Haig Jr. pulls no punches in today’s Wall Street Journal.
Donald Rumsfeld’s departure and the decision to pursue counterinsurgency in Iraq required fresh commanders. But the administration overlooked a new source of military talent in, of all places, the U.S. Senate. The Senate Majority Leader, for example, asserts that the war is lost and that Gen. Petraeus is detached from reality in Baghdad. He and other equally qualified lay military experts are busily setting dates certain for troop withdrawal, oblivious of the consequences. Some have questioned the constitutionality of such Congressional resolutions. I question their wisdom. We need a debate on how to win, not how to lose. That would be a good topic for the presidential candidates. It’s certainly not what they’re talking about now.
John Quincy Adams warned us against going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy,” and some argue that the war on terror is just such a case. I disagree. On 9/11, the monster found us asleep at home and will continue to find us inadequately prepared unless we muster more strength and more wisdom. Unless we break with illusionary democracy mongering, inept handling of our military resources and self-defeating domestic political debates, we are in danger of becoming our own worst enemy.
And when domestic defeatism forces US withdrawal, and the religious fanatics spill oceans of innocent blood, the leftwing punditocracy will explain it is all the fault of George W. Bush for disturbing the peaceful idyll of Baathist dictatorship.