The growing cynicism
A vote for civil war.
Diane West is not some firebrand. She's usually a sober reasoned person. I have a hard time agreeing that we ought to stand back and let the civil war in Iraq rage. How long will it last? Scores to settle are old and numerous. Each new one begets another. Blood fueds with no end in sight.
Frederick Turner has another take:
Baghdad Vigilantes and the Dark Side of Civil Society
His arguement is essentially that there's thems that need killin' in Iraq and the US and Iraqi forces can't or won't get it done. He contends this bloodshed is necessary prior to the rise of a civil society. Men are forming posses to go out and clean things up. Imagine if you saw a man you knew was one of Saddam's torturers in your neighborhood. Imagine he had killed members of your family. What would you do? Would you turn him in to the Americans and hope something happened? Or, would you be so blinded by the need for revenge, kill him? I'll bet more than a few thought about the latter.
Early in WWII Allies restricted themselves to bombing military and industrial targets. The latter was only usually bombed at night to ensure the facility was destroyed but the civilian workers were unharmed. By 1945 we were so sick of war and desparate to end it we were firebombing Dresden and dropping nuclear weapons in Japan.
I fear as this war grinds on we are going down one of two very dangerous paths. Either we follow the Nancy "What war?" Path and ignore the problem hoping it will go away or the darker path where we ratchet up the war effort to make Tehran look like Stalingrad. Neither is a good prospect and while the former is suicidal, the latter could lead to victory but a very grim one indeed.
In a related story, local radio host Michael Smerconish just returned from a 14 day tour of forward areas in the GWOT and heard a familiar refrain while there. He believes the hunt for bin Laden has been scaled back dramatically. He cites two reasons; first, bin Laden is isolated and ineffectual wherever he is. He has stopped using cell phones and he runs messages by courrier on a motorcycle. SLowing communication that much hampers him severely. Second, and more importantly, miliary grunts believe that support for the GWOT is waning. If bin Laden were caught, the clamor and cry to fold up the tents and come home would be overwhelming. Capturing or killing bin Laden would be seen as the endgame. I can't say his analysis lacks merit.