Today’s Washington Times has a piece by Clifford May about Iraq called “Failure Not An Option.” (Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be up on the Times’ website). May argues that our military is struggling to learn how to win a new kind of war, and that if we fail in Iraq “the Jihadis will have developed a weapon that can defeat the Great Satan, a model they can — and will — adapt to other parts of the world.”
I don’t doubt May’s thesis that failure is not an optiion, However, sometimes I wonder whether, given the way we are approaching things, success is an option. It seems unlikely that we can defeat this insurgency unless we become more aggressive in engaging the insurgents in their strong-holds.
On the other hand, Oliver North, having just returned from Iraq, argues that the gloomy reports by the New York Times, CBS News, etc. are “as phony as Dan Rather’s documents.” I’m fairly confident that North is correct about this. However, North does not deny that our adversaries are increasingly successful and increasingly dangerous. North reports that the morale of our troops is excellent, and again I don’t doubt him. I think morale would be even better if we unleashed the troops in places like Fallujah, thereby demonstrating that success is, indeed, an option.
UPDATE by BIG TRUNK: Reader Patrick Davis has kindly forwarded a link to Clifford May’s column: “A hard place; in Iraq, failure is not an option; it is a possibility.” Davis adds that he found the column posted on “the website for The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Cliff is the FDD’s President. The FDD also has great email updates with analysis and relevant articles, studies, quotes etc. on the war on terror.” Frontpage has also posted May’s column as “A hard place.”
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