Col. Bacevich Speaks

Col. A. James Bacevich, one of the finest officers the military has ever seen (and I can say this, because he was my Regimental Commander in Germany) writes in the National Review online:

Those opposed to the prospect of a U.S.-led intervention in Iraq are unlikely to change their minds based on Secretary Powell’s remarkably detailed report to the U.N. Security Council. Indeed, anti-warriors will cite the specifics provided regarding Baghdad’s deception and obstructionism to support their own conviction that inspections will, if given sufficient time, succeed in disarming the regime. Given the breadth and depth of the intelligence available, they will ask, what chance does Saddam Hussein have of keeping the weapons inspectors at bay?

But Powell’s true purpose was not to turn around public opinion, either at home or abroad. His purpose was to provide the so-called international community with one last chance to join Washington in doing what the Bush administration has long since concluded that the United States must do.

That is, Powell’s purpose was to make unmistakably clear that the United States intends to proceed with plans to forcibly disarm Iraq and of equal, if not greater importance make an end to the Baathist regime. The countdown to war is well underway and will soon reach zero.

In that regard, the identity of the messenger was at least as important as the words he spoke. The announcement that war is now all but unavoidable came not from the cowboy in the White House or his surly secretary of defense but from the senior official widely seen as this administration’s voice of reason, moderation, and prudence.

Go read the entire thing.

Also, John Hawkins presents some interesting poll numbers.








Afghan Attack

Does anyone know anything else about this:

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan intelligence officers said Sunday they had foiled a plan to launch rocket attacks on the U.S. Embassy, international peacekeepers and Kabul airport at the weekend.

Engineer Amin, head of intelligence for Kabul, told Reuters his men had found 30 BM-21 rockets in the Tara Khail area near Bagrami on the eastern outskirts of Kabul Saturday morning.

He said five were primed to fire while the rest lay ready nearby.

He said a map found at the scene identified three targets — the U.S. embassy, the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Kabul and Kabul airport.

All the locations would be within operational range of the BM-21, a rocket designed in the former Soviet Union.








The Post Gets It

The whole editorial is worthy, but here is an important snippet:

The French and Germans are right about war: It is always terrible, it can have unpredictable results, and democracies can embrace it only as a last resort. Yet their posturing, combined with the waffling of Mr. Blix, has made war more rather than less likely. Saddam Hussein can draw only one message from the current debate: that the Security Council no more has the will to force disarmament on him now than it did in the 1990s. Mr. Blix’s report and the European reactions will encourage him to cooperate not more, but less. He might be contained for a while, but in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, world, another failure by the world’s powers to enforce Iraqi disarmament would be a disaster even worse than war: It would touch off a rush by rogue states for nuclear weapons. Consequently, the absence of firmness by the council will only force the Bush administration to conclude that it has no choice other than to bypass the United Nations and lead a “coalition of the willing” into Iraq. That coalition likely would include half or more of the members of the NATO alliance; France and Germany, more than the United States, would risk isolation.

One more time now- appeasement and weakness is a recipe for disaster. Go read the rest.

*** Update ***

From the comments, we find this excellent link to the Tocqueville Connection stating that when push comes to shove, the French will be with us.