If you want to see the document that may determine history for the next two years — and probably elect a Democratic President in 2008 — take a look at “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq,” by Frederick Kagan, resident military historian at the American Enterprise Institute. Like everything else these days, it’s in plain view on the web at www.aei.org.
“Choosing Victory” supposedly turned the tide for the Bush administration, stiffening the backbone of its inner circle against accepting the advice of the Baker-Hamilton Commission and pushing ahead instead with the “surge” of troops that’s supposedly going to turn the tide.
What’s disconcerting is that, instead of being a scholarly paper, “Choosing Victory” in the form of Power Point slides with clear, ringing title pages — “Victory is Vital,” “Success is Possible” — followed by bullet points for easy digestions. Somehow it ends up sounding like a pitch for a software product at a computer convention — “This is a $3 billion market! If we get only 1 percent of it…” — all that stuff.
Here’s how it goes.p>Slide One: br> /p>
Victory is Possiblebr> Makes you wonder why we even bother, doesn’t it? How could anyone ever blow such a one-sided affair? Notice, however, the subtle assumption that’s being made. We’re at war with the whole country! But we’ll come back to that later. Notice also what’s left out of the “effort-and-will” equation — the cost in American lives. p>Next slide please: br> /p> blockquote>Proposal: Victory through Security
* American resources are great: 300 million people, $12 trillion in GDP compared to 25 million Iraqis, $100 billion Iraqi GDP in a country the size of California.
* Success requires effort and will, but we need not choose to lose.
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Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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