LOSING THE WAR, REVISITED….Tom Friedman on failure of the Bush approach to fighting militant jihadism:
Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld told us we are in the fight of our lives against a new Islamic fascism, and let?s have an unprecedented wartime tax cut and shrink our armed forces. They told us we are in the fight of our lives against a new Islamic fascism, but let?s send just enough troops to topple Saddam ? and never control Iraq?s borders, its ammo dumps or its looters. They told us we are in the fight of our lives against a new Islamic fascism, but rather than bring Democrats and Republicans together in a national unity war coalition, let?s use the war as a wedge issue to embarrass Democrats, frighten voters and win elections. They told us we are in the fight of our lives against a new Islamic fascism ? which is financed by our own oil purchases ? but let?s not do one serious thing about ending our oil addiction.
Bush has run the war against jihadism out of his back pocket, as a permanent state of emergency. He engages in legal ad-hockery and trickery, treats Congress as a nuisance rather than a partner, and circumvents outmoded laws and treaties when he should be creating new ones. Of all Bush’s failings, his refusal to build durable underpinnings for what promises to be a long struggle is the most surprising, the most gratuitous, and potentially the most damaging, both to the sustainability of the antiterrorism effort and to the constitutional order.
This week I asked more than a dozen top Army and Marine Corps generals ? active duty and retired, dissidents and administration loyalists ? to address what we should do now in Iraq.
All of them agreed that America’s strategy and tactics in Iraq have failed….[Marine Lt. Gen. Paul] Van Riper said the United States lacks a global strategy for fighting a global war against a global Islamist insurgency. He contrasted what we’ve witnessed from today’s war president with the way America and its leaders prepared and planned the campaigns in World War II, and how President Franklin D. Roosevelt explained the strategy and the campaigns to educate the public and ensure support for the war.
“Our current leadership has failed us in these most basic of obligations,” he said.
George Bush doesn’t have a clue how to fight the enemy he claims is so important. I think that even those who were initially inclined to give Bush the benefit of the doubt on this are finally figuring this out.