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A few observations concerning J. Peter Freire’s article:
First, Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack (Brookings Institution) ask, “How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission?” These are legitimate questions given the fact that the administration has always argued that the purpose of the surge is to give the Iraqi politicians time to solve the problems outlined in the benchmarks. Are the Iraqi politicians under Maliki’s leadership doing their part? As far as the troops are concerned, anyone who believes they are not being worn down “needs to pull the hookah hose out of their mouth.” (Thanks to Bill Croke for the wonderful phrase.)
Second, so what are the responsibilities of the Iraqi politicians? Mr. Freire states:
“Let’s not forget the authors’ embrace of unreasonable expectations. Today, ‘Iraqi leader’ is synonymous with idling fat cat, or worse, terrorist abettor. They have earned the ire of any person with an interest in dodging accusations of giving up on a winnable war. But there’s only so much a politician can do when the country is teetering on the brink of chaos (at least, according to the American press) and might sink deeper once the Americans finally leave (at least, if Democratic calls for withdrawal are to be believed).”
“But to suggest that Iraqi politicians are going to pull Iraq out of the mud is silly, much like the old myth about Franklin Delano Roosevelt pulling America out of the Great Depression. Iraqis are going to be the ones for the job of cleaning up. With any luck, our guns will be the ones giving them cover while they do it.”
So, the Iraqi politicians are being burdened with “unreasonable expectations” and we are “silly” to think that duly elected Iraqi government officials are going to “pull Iraq out of the mud.?” Who will do it? The Iraqi people without the aid of their governmental officials, according to Mr. Freire. I thought we were trying to do away with militias under the control of sheikhs and religious leaders who operate for their own narrow, parochial interests.
Finally, Mr. Freire observes:
“One questioner in last week’s YouTube debate noted the three flags of his family’s military service, the most recent one belonging to his son, dead from the current war. ‘I do not want to see my youngest sons joining them,” he demanded, asking, ‘By what date after January 21st, 2009, will all U.S. troops be out of Iraq?’”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?