January 21, 2007
Gettin' Giggly at the Standard
On the same day that Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan team up for an article juvenilely titled: All We Are Saying...Is Give Petraeus a Chance (cute, huh?), some 21 American soldiers have died in Iraq (including five in Karbala, likely a harbinger of carnage to come between Shi'a militias and American soldiers getting "surged" in, not least because of Kagan's almost certainly fatally flawed policy prescriptions). But at least it's good to see that Kagan and Kristol can cleverly turn the lyrics to a 70's era anti-war song into the title of a TWS piece that calls for escalation of a conflict, one that has already cost some 3,040 lives. Funny, guys! And hopefully good for a chuckle around the water-cooler too...
As for the piece itself, mightn't they spare us the intimations that we prostrate ourselves at Great Savior Petraeus' lap? After all, such a plea coming from them is rather ironic given all the flak they gave Abizaid and Casey back in the day (as Greenwald aptly reminds).
Then there is this dishonest passage:
It's a far cry from the Democratic party that insisted on sending American forces to stop ethnic cleansing in war-torn Bosnia in the 1990s, to the one that now declares an Iraqi bloodbath no concern of ours.
It's actually mostly Republicans who were dismayed by Warren Christopher's ineffectual approach to the Balkans imbroglio during the Clinton Administration (it later took Dick Holbrooke to save the day after three years of carnage in '95 at Dayton). Republican Bob Dole was one of the key individuals on the Hill calling for us to lift the arms embargo on the Bosnian Muslims, and use NATO to strike Bosnian Serb gunners terrorizing "safe havens" like Gorazde, Zepa, Sarajevo, Bihac and Srebrenica (the so-called "lift and strike" option).
My point? I don't remember anyone, Republican or Democrat, advocating maintaining 160,000 men in Bosnia, certainly before a peace settlement was struck, and in the middle of a raging civil war. But this article is chock-full of such cheap, straw-man arguments. Can't say I'm surprised, though...
Meantime, here's Fred K back in the day when 50K was all the rage...(go to the 2:30 mark).
UPDATE: Fred Kagan: "The guy who is most committed to winning and finding a way to win is the president. He always has been; he's the only reason we are still in this fight."
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Gregory Djerejian comments intermittently on global politics, finance & diplomacy at this site. The views expressed herein are solely his own and do not represent those of any organization.
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