March 30, 2007

Fides punica

I saw yesterday on Best of the Web something that's really disgusting. Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel wrote a Washington Post op-ed in 2002, saying that "we need to disarm Saddam Hussein and set the stage for a stable Iraq..." and that Iraq would be a tough challenge that might last a decade!

Now, out of scoundrel political calculation, they are betraying our troops and our country and our elected leaders in the very time of difficulties they predicted, and that they said it would be necessary to prevail in. And, of course, in the military campaign they voted to commit our forces to.

...Although no one doubts our forces will prevail over Saddam Hussein's, key regional leaders confirm what the Foreign Relations Committee emphasized in its Iraq hearings last summer: The most challenging phase will likely be the day after -- or, more accurately, the decade after -- Saddam Hussein.

Once he is gone, expectations are high that coalition forces will remain in large numbers to stabilize Iraq and support a civilian administration. That presence will be necessary for several years, given the vacuum there, which a divided Iraqi opposition will have trouble filling and which some new Iraqi military strongman must not fill. Various experts have testified that as many as 75,000 troops may be necessary, at a cost of up to $ 20 billion a year. That does not include the cost of the war itself, or the effort to rebuild Iraq.

Americans are largely unprepared for such an undertaking. President Bush must make clear to the American people the scale of the commitment...

I agree with the last two sentences, although I would not quite generalize it to all Americans. My own thoughts chime a bit with this, by Alan:

Military historian William Hawkins provides a precis on why wars are won or lost. I think he’s too hard on Donald Rumsfeld, who surely knew these things, but who was trying to work within political and bureaucratic parameters that he could not alter. Otherwise, I agree with everything Hawkins has to say. The West is in jeopardy for want of will, without which weaponry means nothing. We are wasting vast sums of taxpayer money on military hardware that will never be used, if the nation’s ruling Boomers wet their Depends every time some Third World thug says “boo.” My generation will ruin the nation. It’s a sad thing to contemplate as my own life approaches a premature close.
Posted by John Weidner at March 30, 2007 12:37 PM
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