Tiptoeing through the tulips

Jed Babbin writes on NRO:Part of the essence of the warriors’ creed is that they will die for their country, trusting that their lives may be spent but not wasted. We are in the process of wasting some of these precious lives in a tactical situation that is unacceptable by any measure. We’re extending a phony “ceasefire” while Marines are fighting and dying. On Sunday Gen. Mark Kimmet — our chief military spokesman in Iraq — announced that our effort to end the insurgency in Fallujah and capture or kill the barbarians who killed and mutilated four Americans almost a month ago is now on a “political track”…. The future of Iraq cannot be won on this political track. We are adrift, and our enemies are taking full advantage of it. One of my pals, an active duty military intellectual whose name I cannot use, sent me a message last weekend. Part of it says:

We are struggling to tip toe through the tulips in Fallujah when it is no longer possible to do so. Fallujah should already have been an object lesson that if handled decisively and quickly would make further operations in the south unnecessary. We have lost the equivalent of two marine infantry companies precisely because of our over-reliance on light infantry again. Sad for the parents’ whose sons have died valiantly, but needlessly

Does it make a difference if a pro-war, pro-Bush cheerleader says it? I wonder if the “we are at war” crowd is going to throw hissy fits at these NROniks with bona fide pro-war on method credentials in the same manner that they threw them at me when I was pointing out the same thing a week or two ago? It is entirely possible to be simultaneously pro-troops and against the military strategy being pursued by the political leadership. To assert that it would have been pro-troops to support the strategy that led to massacres like the Somme and Gallipolli would be idiotic. No more should anyone blindly assume that the Bush administration knows how to fight this war – evidence is quickly piling up that they do not.

It’s time to pull the troops out. Once the politicians start interfering with the generals, you’re on the path to defeat. There are those who would say that pulling out will send a message that America lacks the will to fight and win this war. That message, I submit, has already been sent.