Friday, January 05, 2007

But Can He Fight?

President Bush is finally making the kinds of changes in our military and diplomatic leadership that he should have made in January of 2005 (if not sooner). The most important change--the one that is absolutely vital to the Bush legacy and America's fortunes in the coming years--is putting Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus in charge of the military mission in Iraq.

Retired Col. Ralph Peters is a fan (mostly) of Gen. Patraeus. Others are openly critical of the general or believe the mission is lost anyway and oppose even trying to win in Iraq at this point.
I agree with Peters' point that the number one mission for our soldiers in Iraq at this moment must be to fight and kill. Not train, maintain, detain or ingrain. Fight. Kill. Scare the crap out of insurgents and convince their allies that they're on the wrong team.
The Democrats are ready to quit and quit now. Maybe a token "surge" of non-fighting soldiers on tucked-away bases, but no more conflict. If that's the plan, then let's come hope now. But what if there is a military strategy that could change the security landscape six or 12 months from now? What if it is still possible to win the military part of this struggle?

The posturing of Pelosi & Co. aside, if Gen. Patraeus can find a military strategy that works in supressing the insurgency, re-building respect for the lethality of our military in the Middle East, and (this the big question) buy time for the Iraqis who want a modern nation to work out a political deal and establish a functioning government, then America wins in Iraq. And if victory were suddenly to appear on the horizon (another HUGE "if"), the Democrats would suddenly discover their support for the evil, criminal, stupid, unconstitutional war in Iraq.

But if we can't accomplish all of the above, we lose. That might be a short-term boon to the Democrats, but that defeat would have terrible consequences for the entire free world.