Thursday, September 14, 2006

Victory versus Reality

You know things are bad. The Bush administration must have known that the situation in Iraq are really bad when they felt compelled to call in six conservative columnists on Tuesday to meet with the President. Mona Charen was there and has a column today emphasizing Bush's view that "victory" is the only option in the war against Islamic extremism.

Somebody needs to tell the generals. Unfortunately, the word on victory has not seeped back to American commanders in al-Anbar, the rebellious North Carolina-sized Iraqi provice where we have thirty thousand troops. According to Gen. Richard Zilmer, that's enough to fulfill the current mission of training Iraqi troops, but not nearly enough for defeating the insurgency in Anbar.

"Marine Maj. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer told reporters . . . that he has enough U.S. troops - about 30,000 - to accomplish what he called his main mission: training Iraqi security forces. 'Now, if that mission statement changes - if there is seen a larger role for coalition forces out here to win that insurgency fight - then that is going to change the metrics of what we need out here.'"

Not only is victory not the "only" option, it appears that victory is not an option at all.

Even the right-wing columnists know this. Although sympathetic to Bush, Charen ends her column by quoting Canadian columnist Peter Worthington: "There has never been an unpopular winning war or a popular losing war."

If the generals and the right-wing rats are jumping the "victory" ship, it's time for Bush to think about "reconfiguring" our military posture in Iraq.

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