08/28/2005: Today's Quotables...
Among Washington's Democrats, the only one with a clue seems to be Russell Feingold, the Wisconsin senator who this month proposed setting a "target date" (as opposed to a deadline) for getting out.
Mr. Feingold also made the crucial observation that "the president has presented us with a false choice": either "stay the course" or "cut and run."
That false choice, in which Mr. Bush pretends that the only alternative to his reckless conduct of the war is Ms. Sheehan's equally apocalyptic retreat, is used to snuff out any legitimate debate.
There are in fact plenty of other choices echoing about, from variations on Mr. Feingold's timetable theme to buying off the Sunni insurgents.
-- The Vietnamization of Bush's Vacation by Frank Rich (NY Times).
Or consider this one from Mr. Babbling Brooks himself: Winning in Iraq:
"Andrew Krepinevich is a careful, scholarly man. A graduate of West Point and a retired lieutenant colonel, his book, "The Army and Vietnam," is a classic on how to fight counterinsurgency warfare.
Over the past year or so he's been asking his friends and former colleagues in the military a few simple questions: Which of the several known strategies for fighting insurgents are you guys employing in Iraq? What metrics are you using to measure your progress?
The answers have been disturbing. There is no clear strategy. There are no clear metrics.
Krepinevich has now published an essay in the new issue of Foreign Affairs, How to Win in Iraq, in which he proposes a strategy.
But the strategy has one virtue. It might work.
Today, public opinion is turning against the war not because people have given up on the goal of advancing freedom, but because they are not sure this war is winnable. Why should we sacrifice more American lives to a lost cause?
If President Bush is going to rebuild support for the war, he's going to have to explain specifically how it can be won, and for that he needs a strategy.
It's not hard to find. It's right there in Andy Krepinevich's essay, and in the annals of history.
-- David Brooks (NY Times).
Karen on 08.28.05 @ 10:16 AM CST