Frederick Kagan and William Kristol do not have a clue:
Al Qaeda is counting on sapping our will, and persuading America to choose to lose a war it could win.
Really? We can win? Win What? Kristol thought we could win this thing with very little effort. But that was before that really stupid decision on March 19, 2003 – you know the one he craved for. But that was just their title. Their ignorance of history is on full display as they compare the bombing of a couple of mosques to the Tet offensive.
Last week, a group of tribal leaders in Salah-ad-Din, the mostly Sunni province due north of Baghdad, agreed to work with the Iraqi government and U.S. forces against al Qaeda. Then al Qaeda destroyed the two remaining minarets of the al-Askariya mosque in Samarra, a city in the province. Coincidence? Perhaps. But al Qaeda is clearly taking a page from the Viet Cong’s book. The terrorists have been mounting a slow-motion Tet offensive of spectacular attacks on markets, bridges, and mosques, knowing that the media report each such attack as an American defeat. The fact is that al Qaeda is steadily losing its grip in Iraq, and these attacks are alienating its erstwhile Iraqi supporters. But the terrorists are counting on sapping our will as the VC did, and persuading America to choose to lose a war it could win.
The Tet offensive involved 100 towns with the fighting continuing for two months. And we did not end our involvement in the Vietnam War for another five bloody years. Yet, we never had a chance of subduing the opposition of our presence in Indochina.
Has Kagan and Kristol figured out that many Iraqis – including those who hate Al Qaeda – see as us an occupying force? If we leave, Osama bin Laden is not going to reign in Baghdad. But also long as we stay – Al Qaeda has a cause in Iraq.
Al Qaeda wanted American boots on the ground in a Muslim nation. President Bush was really stupid to listen to these two neocons and their ilk over four years ago as he gave Al Qaeda exactly what they were counting on. And if we stay as Kagan and Kristol plead that we do – we play into Al Qaeda’s hands. Kagan and Kristol have got nothing right so far. So why should they start making sense now?