"Can't Do" Vs. "Won't Do"
Iraq it is, in too narrow a focus for an election, but the focus nonetheless.
And what of Iraq?
In a film clip you can view at YouTube, we hear Col. Mohammed Faiq, commander of the 2nd Batallion of the Iraqi Army's First Batalion, say:
If the coalition forces left Iraq, that would be the end of Iraq. You can forget about a country called Iraq. There would be massacres in the street. No one would be able to open the doors of their houses and go outside because people would kill each other. Sunnis will kill Shi'ites and Shi'ites will kill Sunnis. The Muslim will kill the Christian and the Christian will kill the Muslim. It is very, very important that the Coalition forces stay in Iraq.Some might say that's fine, let them fight their own war. They're the same ones who see what's going on their now as a civil war, instead of what is is: Coalition and Iraqi forces holding back a civil war.
Is Bush the man to get us through the Iraq conflict nobly and victoriously? Increasingly, it appears the answer is no. But is there anyone on the other side? Obviously, the answer is no.
What we need in the final two years of the Bush administration is a chance for him to finish stronger, which won't happen if a Dem Congress is yapping at his ankles, so that a strong leader can come in 2008 to finish the task.
Belmont Club has an essay today that put this all in the clearest context I've seen to date. Wretchard & crew have a way of doing that:
The fundamental critique of the "neocons" in the Vanity Fair article criticizing the Administration on Iraq is not that Bush went too far but that he didn't go far and decisively enough. Michael Rubin, former Pentagon Office of Special Plans and Coalition Provisional Authority staffer said "where I most blame George Bush is that through his rhetoric people trusted him, people believed him. Reformists came out of the woodwork and exposed themselves." By failing to match his rhetoric with action, Rubin adds, Bush has betrayed Iraqi reformers in a way that is "not much different from what his father did on February 15, 1991, when he called the Iraqi people to rise up, and then had second thoughts and didn't do anything once they did."The Dem platform of redeployment is a position of "won't do."
We hear over and over again in the interview: It was a performance problem. Bush was right but he couldn't deliver. Kenneth Adelman is quoted as saying: "I guess that's what I would have said: that Bush's arguments are absolutely right, but you know what, you just have to put them in the drawer marked can't do. And that's very different from let's go."
The problem is that the US can't have a drawer marked "can't do". The problems of Middle Eastern nuclear arms race, North Korean belligerence, the problems in Iraq and terrorist threats can't be labeled "can't do". If the US political system hasn't found a way to solve those problems under the current administration then it has to find another way under a different administration. But if the choice is between an adminstration which "can't do" and an administration in waiting that "won't do" then the options for the future are threadbare indeed.
And as we view Iran's nuke program, see the documents from Saddam's nuke program, and watch as other Arab states say the last thing they want is to be the only Arab nation without nukes, we know that we can't do "won't do," we can't do Nancy and Howie and Harry.
Related Tags: Politics, Election, Iraq, War on Terror, Iran, Nuclear, Bush, Pelosi