May 31, 2002

BIZARRO WORLD, CONT’D: The New Republic is savaging the Pentagon brass for being unwilling to go to war. Okay, this is a longstanding issue, as their editorial points out, but still. . . .

Key passage:

But timidity is one thing; insubordination is another. The military establishment has crossed that line several times over the last decade–when a general named Colin Powell penned op-eds in 1992 cautioning policymakers against intervening in Bosnia; and in 1999, when the Army brazenly dragged its feet in delivering to Albania the Apache helicopters President Bill Clinton had ordered for the Kosovo campaign. And now it appears they are doing so once more.

There’s nothing worse than waging war in a half-assed fashion. Stephen Green said the other day that we’ve lost the initiative. I’m afraid he’s right.

If we lose this war, it’ll be because it was mismanaged. If that happens, we need to be sure that heads roll — from the White House, to the Pentagon, to the CIA. I agree with those who see the mideast turmoil as a distraction play intended to keep us from taking decisive action. Seems to be working.

The absence of rolling heads right now, as evidence of 9/11 screwups emerges in greater and greater quantities, is already worrisome.