Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Paranoid Android

Poor Ralph Peters. He's trying to get some rest, but can't stop the noise from all the Iraqi voices in his head. So, in an understandably disturbed state, he reaches out for old faithful: blame the liberals. And the Left. And the media. And, all manner of other bogeyman.

This session of Ralph's therapy-as-public-column features him wrestling with the familiar demons of cognitive dissonance - as that neurosis is fueled by scenes of the noble Iraq mission collapsing into a conflagration of blood and fire so horrid it makes Hieronymous Bosch look like Norman Rockwell. As usual with Ralph, old habits die hard. From the man who brought us, 'Dude, Where's My Civil War,' and the Cheney-esque, 'Dude, Still No Civil War,' we get the three-quel:

There is no civil war - civil war would be easier to deal with. What we see in the streets is the rule of the gunmen.

I don't think he'll ever concede that point. Much of the rest of the article follows along the trajectory of Peters' prior column - which can, at best, be summed up as a lament that we did not employ enough of Saddam's brutal, "savage" playbook in our invasion and occupation. We are losing because we are not sufficiently bloodthirsty. This installment, however, leans heavily on the "blame the left" meme. Ralph, it seems, is beginning to flail:

...But the get-Bush-at-any-cost Americans who encouraged our enemies will have the blood of countless innocent Iraqis on their hands.

The left may get its wish: Iraq may fail. Well, congratulations. The men to whom you yearn to give Iraq will make Pol Pot look like Mr. Rogers.

Yes, that has been my wish all along. And my constant Bush-bashing has given the Shiite death squads all the cover they have needed. If it wasn't for my critiques, al-Qaeda would likely have folded shop and gone home long ago. Don't even get me started on the reliance Sunni insurgent groups have on Ansar-al American Footprints for inspiration. Although I think the Armchair Generalist probably gave Peters' arguments all the attention they deserve (and more), there is one item that I wanted to address because I've seen it reappearing as a serial offender in Peters' columns.

Now that many of the Iraq war's supporters (most?) are beginning to concede that more troops were needed to stabilize Iraq in the aftermath of the invasion, it is interesting to see those same war supporters cast about for a suitable target to blame this strategic lapse on. Instead of fixing their sites on Paul Wolfowitz (who famously ridiculed General Eric Shinseki's call for more troops pre-invasion), or Wolfowitz's boss Donald Rumsfeld (who repeatedly tried to whittle the number of troops down to even smaller numbers than eventually employed over the objections of his top generals), or better yet, the Commander in Chief himself, President Bush, Ralph Peters actually blames the Left and other forces of political correctness. In his penultimate piece, Peters says this of the politically correct, leftist view of war fighting:

Should we have sent fewer troops to Iraq, where inadequate numbers crippled everything we attempted?

In his most recent work, while lamenting our liberal desire to fight wars gently, Peters muses:

Imagine how different the situation would be had...we occupied the Sunni Triangle with sufficient numbers of troops...

Yeah. Imagine. If only Nancy Pelosi and MoveOn.org hadn't prevented Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush from sending in the hundreds of thousands of troops that they wanted to send in, things might have turned out better. I imagine it's also the fault of the liberals and the PC crowd that we don't have enough troops in Afghanistan now as well. Damn you Pelosi!

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