If only Haig WERE in control…

Everybody makes fun of poor ol’ Al "I’m in control" Haig, but the general has a lot of sense, and we could do worse — and would probably be much better off — if he were in charge now.

Admittedly, I’m just basing that on this short op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal today, but common sense seems in such short supply these days, I get all worked up when I run across it. An excerpt:

John Quincy Adams warned us against going abroad "in search of monsters to destroy," and some argue that the war on terror is just such a case. I disagree. On 9/11, the monster found us asleep at home and will continue to find us inadequately prepared unless we muster more strength and more wisdom. Unless we break with illusionary democracy mongering, inept handling of our military resources and self-defeating domestic political debates, we are in danger of becoming our own worst enemy.

Actually, that was a tough piece to excerpt in a truly representative manner. I recommend you go read it. It won’t take long.

4 thoughts on “If only Haig WERE in control…

  1. Doug Rossd

    I think very few Americans have any issue with the objective of seeking out terrorists and killing them. The problem Americans have is with the strategy, tactics, and execution that Bush/Cheney have implemented over the past five years. We created a mess in Iraq based on false/phony/erroneous information. We thought we could turn Iraq into a subsidiary of the United States. We thought the Iraqis would stop fighting with each other when Saddam was gone. We were wrong.
    We should go after terrorists where they live, not create a new environment for them to recruit. Brute force occupation of an entire country divided by centuries old sectarian strife has not and will not work. Case closed.

  2. Brad Warthen

    And as it happens, a whole lot of them (terrorists) now live in Iraq. Large concentrations of them. Target-rich environment, as they say. If we’re going to kill terrorists, there’s no more convenient place for getting it done — unless we’re going to invade Pakistan, which is a whole other set of problems. I’m game, though, if all you folks who don’t want us in Iraq are.
    The area around Kandahar is another good place to look for them, and our troops who are hunting Taliban there are a little lonely.
    The thing is, if we want to fight terrorism effectively, we have to have a much larger military. Our politicians should be arguing, as Gen. Haig asserts, over how to accomplish that as quickly and effectively as possible.
    Why do we need a larger military? Because in order to fight the terrorists effectively, we need more troops in Iraq, a lot more in Afghanistan, and enough wandering around loose and bored in the region to make Iran (and to a lesser extent Syria) rethink a few things, and to make some of our friends in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere ponder how much harder they should be trying to help us out.
    Now, some folks will respond with, “You can’t do it all with force.” You betcha. That’s just the military element of a serious-as-hell anti-terrorism strategy that includes a real energy policy, professional diplomacy for a change, and huge humanitarian efforts throughout the Mideast, Africa and Asia.
    That’s if we’re serious, of course.

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