Whatever Happened To Shock And Awe: A Need For A Plan For Iraq
But what the President needs more than anything is a new plan to win the war in Iraq. Otherwise his Administration will go down the drain in the midterm elections, and he will fare about as badly in history. He needs to be staying in the White House to fashion this plan and implement it, rather than gallivanting around the country on what essentially are campaign trips.
What could such a plan be? Haven't we tried everything?
Well, not really. The U.S. military, as in Vietnam, has been fighting with one hand tied behind its back. Even the Olmert regime in Israel, despite all the criticism directed to it, had a far more effective war plan in Lebanon in the recent war with Hezbollah, than the Bush Administration has had in Iraq. That war lasted only 34 days, but the Lebanese were taught such a lesson, I would wager they will not repeat their assaults against Israel soon again.
We've been fighting in Iraq for an incredible three and a half years, and under the present policy, there's no end in sight. As our military's morale has sank, U.S. troop levels have actually had to be slightly increased in recent weeks. Whatever happened to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld original plan to shock and awe the Iraqis? We seem to be fighting the insurgents in Iraq with kid gloves, doing just what we are expected to do, fighting the war on their terms.
Yet that war has changed. It's now become obvious that the greatest threat to a pro-Western Iraq is Iran. It is supplying the Shiite militias, and they have become a foe of American forces, perhaps even more than the Sunnis or al-Qaeda.
Pardon me, but what is needed is a firm policy of punishing the Iraqis for their opposition with a massive bombing campaign to destroy cities like Ramadi and neighborhoods in Baghdad which shelter the enemy. We could play fair like the Israelis and warn the civilians to leave those areas before they were bombed, but this idea they have that they can have their cake and eat it too, back the insurgency and get aid from the U.S. at the same time, is not acceptable, or workable.
My guess is that a few weeks of this, and there would be a U.N. cease fire resolution that the other side would accept. The reaction in the rest of the world might be fierce, but this would prove an effective end game.
The President is correct, in my view, in warning that the consequences of an American defeat in Iraq would be far reaching, threatening all of our associations in the Middle East, the regimes like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia which have been at least nominal allies, and the vital supply of oil.
If this is indeed true, then we can't just go quietly into the good night, we need to up the ante. And the way to do that, frankly, is to use our B-52s.