Iraq is now like Vietnam or the Tet offensive according the press and it seems even the Bush admin is buying into that thinking. Interesting.
Quickly, for what it is worth (probably not much), here is what I think.
1.) Regardless of the messiness of the Iraq situation it is a VERY good thing that we have managed to attract most of the crazy Islamists to Iraq to fight us there instead of allowing them to spread out and fight us everywhere else, especially here on our soil. There is no question in my mind that one of the reasons we have not been attacked again here, is that we are there. They have come to fight us there. That is a very positive thing. They are going to fight us somewhere and it is far better for us that it is there, not NY or LA or wherever in the US.
2.) Over the years I have talked to many soldiers who were on the ground in Vietnam and all were sooo frustrated that they were never allowed to really fight to win! Political issues prevented them from kicking North Vietnam's ass. They could have. They should have. If we are going to go to the trouble to fight a war, we ought to fight to win or stay the hell out of it. War is never won with a half assed, politically correct approach. Either commit all out, no holds barred or surrender. The French at least learned to surrender early!
3.) Bush needs to fire some Generals and get someone new to run this thing. At the end of the day, if there is blame for what happens on the ground it is the generals who call the shots. Not Bush. Unless of course he or Rumsfield (who I don't care much for for many reasons) is not listening to his Generals. It appears to me that he is listening to them. I think they have run a crummy clean up operation. The initial war was run brilliantly. The aftermath has proven to be a disaster. He needs a new general in charge. Fire somebody W!! Fire em today!! Get pissed and win the damn war!! As my dad used to say, "stop pussyfooting around."
4.) Commit totally to overwhelm the terrorists even if you have to put a million troops on the ground. Kill every terrorist you can find everywhere they are in Iraq. Secure it and then turn it over to the Iraqi government and military. Then get the hell out of there. You have done the best you can do. If they then lose what we have given them, it is not our fault. If they are crazy enough (and they likely are) to continue to kill each other because of all the religious factions there then let em. But get the job done. Do it with all the force required to bring peace and then get out in a rational, planned manner.
5.) Realize that it is soo easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. When you are a leader you NEVER have enough information. You do the best you can to make a decision and then you go all out to win, making adjustments as you go. I have never been involved in a planned business startup where things went as planned. You just cannot know beforehand what the situation is really going to be like or what your competitors will do to respond to your campaign. All of this carping in the press and from politicians is just a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks who don't have a clue what leadership is. For all his faults Bush has led and done many things right. Now he needs to lead all the way and win the damn war, not just contain the people who want to kill us. He needs to win this no matter the cost. We must win. To lose would cost us way too much.