Cut And Run, Now link
Pressure is building, in London and Washington, to cut and run, and it's the right thing to do. Are you listening, John Kerry?
Last week, conservative General William Odom—former head of the supersecret National Security Agency—became the first important former top military man to endorse the idea that the United States has bungled Iraq and needs to get out. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Odom said: "We have failed." He urged that U.S. forces be pulled out "from that shattered country as rapidly as possible.. The issue is how high a price we're going to pay—less by getting out sooner, or more by getting out later."
Former U.S. intelligence officials and ex-ambassadors who I've been in touch with are abuzz with Odom's remarks, and they are likely to follow in the footsteps of 52 British diplomats and others who rebuked hapless Tony Blair last week, called the Anglo-American policy in Iraq "doomed to failure."
Reports Arnaud de Borchgrave in today's Washington Times:
A company-size bevy of retired U.S. generals and admirals were in constant touch this week with a volunteer drafter putting the final touches to a "tough condemnation" of Bush administration Middle Eastern policy.
The Council of Foreign Relations organized a conference call-in for its members with Gen. Odom. A score of former U.S. ambassadors who had served in the Middle East were also discussing how to join their voices to Britain's 52 former ambassadors, high commissioners and governors who wrote to Tony Blair to accuse him of scuttling peace efforts between Israel and Palestinians. The British diplomats also took Mr. Blair to task for policies "doomed to failure" in Iraq.
One British co-signer was Paul Bergne, who until recently was the prime minister's personal envoy to Afghanistan.
It was the first time in living memory so many former envoys to the Middle East had acted as a group to denounce the government's foreign policy. They said they spoke for many serving diplomats, as well.
The retired U.S. ambassadors were as one in warning President Bush that discarding the Middle East road map to peace and substituting a plan that leaves Palestinians no hope for a viable state is tantamount to declaring war on moderation—and jeopardizing U.S. interests all over the region.
Pity that John Kerry is, so far blind to the catastrophe in Iraq. His speeches and wishy-washy policy on Iraq have left him totally unable to capture America's anger over Iraq. Since calling for the UN to take over for the United States in Iraq, Kerry has tacked this way and that, calling for more U.S. troops and pledging to stand firm, whatever that means. It's clear that Kerry doesn't have the backbone to stand up to President Bush on Iraq, the single biggest issue of 2004. Will he get a spine transplant anytime soon? I doubt it. Ralph Nader is campaigning hard for the anti-war vote. He may get mine.