April 13, 2004

Get a Grip Andrew -- No, Not That One

Andrew Sullivan says:

It's worth saying here what we now know the president got wrong - badly wrong. There were never enough troops to occupy Iraq. The war-plan might have been brilliant, but the post-war plan has obviously been a failure. We needed more force and we needed more money sooner. The president has no excuses for not adjusting more quickly to this fact: he was told beforehand; he was told afterward; but he and the Defense Secretary were too pig-headed to change course. I still favor the war; but I cannot excuse the lapses and failures of the administration in the post-war. Yes, this was always going to be very very hard. And yes, Iraq was slowly imploding under Saddam and some version of what we are now witnessing was inevitable - and, without the war, it would have happened without our stabilizing presence. Yes, balancing keeping order and winning hearts and minds is not an easy operation to pull off. But with the troop levels we maintained - especially given the limited international support - we made things far harder than they might have been, and our beleaguered troops are dealing with the aftermath. We can still win this. We must still win this. But the president is in part responsible for making it even harder than it might have been.

Well, gosh Andrew, has it occurred to you that perhaps there are other things the military has to be worried about right now above and beyond Iraq? We have to rotate troops, slack off on the use of the National Guard and still deal with all the other threats in the world. Personally, I'm not convinced that more troops are absolutely necessary instead of perhaps a change in the rules of engagement, but I'll yield to the judgment of General Abizaid and ask if they are, how about laying the blame where it really lies -- with the "limited international support" you cite. Once again, most of Europe gets a free ride paid for with American money and American blood. I guess Andrew now agrees with John F. Kerry about President George W. Bush squandering all that international goodwill we had after 9/11 and, of course, f***ing it up so badly.

Posted by Charles Austin at April 13, 2004 04:07 PM