Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Barone on Less Than Optimum Choices

The president needs to do more than follow the advice of military leaders on Iraq. He needs to find the self-confidence and informed strategic sense that guided Churchill and Roosevelt in their less than optimum but certainly correct choice to aid Stalin against Hitler. The surge shows promise only if the president is clear on what we can now reasonably hope to accomplish. It’s his indispensable job to tell our military leaders what they now must do.

Discussions - 2 Comments

Absent serious adjustment of the guidelines our troops are functioning under, absent serious military action against IRAN and SYRIA, absent serious attempts to muffle resistance in BOTH al anbar AND Baghdad, SIMULTANEOUSLY, the surge will fail.

You cannot pacify Baghdad while allowing portions of the country to remain "Indian territory." Overwhelming force must be applied THROUGHOUT all areas of Iraq, CONCURRENTLY with military strikes against revolutionary guards and intelligence targets in Iran, and similar punitive operations launched against Syria. We can’t duplicate Operation Rolling Thunder, it must be Linebacker I, Linebacker II, {more better known as the "Christmas bombings}}. If we’re serious about Iraq, and I hope to God we are, then the war must be carried to those DETERMINED to thwart, defeat and "humiliate" us in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iraq. The forces of muslim despotism, tyranny and murder must be taken on and crushed. And we’re precisely the country to do it. Or at least we were after 9/11. Now? With leadership, the nation will rally to the cause, and thus will lead the world. But an uncertain trumpet will rally none.

Unfortunately too many people see it as an either/or situation. Our military is smart enough and skilled enough to walk and chew gum at the same time, if we will let them, by changing the rules of engagement. Defeat the Iranian proxies while rooting out the Sunni insurgency simultaneously. We can start by muzzling the Shi’ite-led collaborationist government. That will also help us with the Sunni sheiks in Anbar. We didn’t try to take and hold France while clearing everything with Vichy first. Saddam got it half right when he said the enemies of "Iraq" (as a sovereign, unified state) were America and Persia. I’d turn the guns on Iran’s proxies first, then perhaps the weak-sister Syrians will get the message, just like Libya did.

Iran and its in-country allies need to be pre-empted, even if it means a few high profile assassinations, to wit: Moqtada al-Sadr and any Iranian big-wigs found operating inside Iraq.

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