The photo sums it up pretty well. Recommendations are great, especially when they come from a brilliant man like James Baker, however they should be taken with a grain of salt. At approximately 110 years old Baker may be suffering from dementia or some such thing. The way this report is being touted I’m starting to wonder when these guys were elected President. There are actually reasons we have a President. As President you get information that few, if anyone else has or should have. You are hopefully able to put a conflict like Iraq into perspective with what’s going on in the rest of the world. One wrong move could adversly affect strategy in other areas.
You could seek advice from 10 brilliant men on a complicated subject and get 10 different answers. It would be wise to weigh what they all have to say, but in the end the person with whom the responsibility has been given should be the one who decides the course. Not to mention that we have military commanders who should have a better idea how to win a war than bystanders. That is, unless the consensus has become that of John Kerry in regards to our military.
The big problem with this resolution, which you can download here is that it seems to ignore victory as an option. This only spells out how to get out with your tail between your legs and not officially lose. Can you say politics? How far we have fallen.
When negotiating with countries like Iran and Syria are part of the deal, recommendations are immediately flawed. Asking murderers to the table should not be an option, especially when we are talking about the future of other countries. To ask them and not Israel is even stranger. There may be an ulterior motive to show Iran won’t cooperate or can’t be trusted, but who doesn’t already know that? Anything that buys them even more time is dangerous.
All this distracts from the real issues with Iran and Syria and continues them on a path that should have been stopped before now. It is the cat and mouse game we played with Saddam Hussein all over again. That game is probably what caused this path to begin with. Everyone now knows they get a million warnings like a little child and they push their luck to the very end. That wouldn’t have happened with Ronald Reagan. Remember Moammar Qaddafi? He was the big terrorist back in the day. It took one near miss which killed Gaddafi’s daughter and 36 others to put him out of business. I don’t think Qaddafi even spoke for about 20 years after that. It’s an imperfect world and that deadly attack probably saved thousands of innocent lives.
Much of what is in there is redundant anyway. Some of it is not far from what I am sure they are trying to do anyway, just not necessarily with a public time-line. It’s much of the same debate only packaged nice with Christmas bow on it. It is obviously not good to give public time-lines when fighting a war. How dumb do you think these guys are? The terrorists might be twisted, but not always that dumb.
You hear some saying “more troops” and some saying “less troops.” If you withdraw without achieving your objectives – you lose. If you send more troops you will have more casualties to our troops. Victory might be achieved quicker, but you will have a lot more targets. Isn’t that the problem here? There is no doubt about victory, unless you have no faith in the military. The problem is we cannot stomach losses so we fight so carefully that it drags on and on.
I see 3 basic options in this. One is to cut and run. The result of that is leaving the problem and consequences for future generations to suffer with. The second option is to turn up the heat, not only in Iraq, but other places as well. With that option you will gain respect, win more quickly and decisively, but suffer more losses in the short term. The third option is to fight a nice fight with minimum troops and take many years to complete. With that option you will lose many more lives, only at a slower rate. With the first and third options you will also encourage our enemies that they can win. The only thing that encourages terrorists more than a perverted view of religion is the belief they are winning. Containment and appeasement are a terrorists best friend.
The best option, without a doubt is to stop tiptoeing around and to hit our enemies with the force we have been led to believe in the past that the United States of America possesses. Enemies have been defined in the past to include terrorists and those who help and harbor terrorists. My guess is we will continue on with the option of minimal troops and fighting nice. If pressure gets too great we will resort to the cut and run option or what is now referred to as “redeployment.” Hopefully for the sake of free people everywhere that does not happen. Hopefully those who are serving now and those who have given their lives have not done so in vain.
In all my time in Washington I’ve never seen such smugness, arrogance, or such insufferable moral superiority. Self-congratulatory. Full of itself. Horrible.
William J. Bennett