Speaking Frankly to the President

The American Thinker writes an Open Letter to the President. It is a must read.

Some excerpts:

In war, public support is the equivalent of cash flow. So the question isn’t whether a war is going well, but whether a war is going well enough, and fast enough, to end in victory before public support gives out. And it’s obvious that public support for the war in Iraq has begun to erode, which means that from now on we are not only in a battle against our enemy overseas, but in a race against time here at home.

I don’t know how much time is left before public support for this war erodes to the point when victory will lie beyond our grasp. Your judgment will certainly be better than mine, because only you can combine the top-secret intelligence reports on your desk with your own superb “gut feel” for public opinion to estimate just when these two trend-lines will intersect. My only suggestion is that whatever projection you come up with – Three months? Nine months? Two years? – you cut it in half. History teaches that once public support for a war starts to erode – no matter what may be the actual, on-the-ground situation – it erodes at an accelerating rate. But what matters most isn’t so much the actual date you project for when the two lines will intersect. Rather, what matters most is that you recognize these two lines now are on a collision course, and that you understand what this means:

You have less time to win this war than you thought you had. So to win, you will need to fight harder.

And this:

First, you need to fight harder in Iraq. You keep saying that you are giving our generals all the troops they want. With all respect, sir, this couldn’t possibly be true. In the history of the world there has never been a general who thought he had enough troops. If your generals are telling you they have all the troops they want to finish the job in Iraq, either the generals are idiots – or they have gotten the word that asking for more troops will end their careers. Sit down with your generals privately – just you and them — and find out how many troops they really think they need. If they still insist they don’t want more troops on the ground in Iraq, then get yourself a new bunch of generals. If they tell you they need another 250,000 soldiers and Marines – then fly them over from Korea, Germany or wherever they are stationed just as fast as possible. If we haven’t got them to send – then order a draft. One way or another, put enough troops on the ground in Iraq to secure that country — fast. And while you’re at it, give the orders to either take out the governments of Syria and Iran or to hit them with so much force that they quit playing footsie with al Queda and the Baathists, because we cannot win in Iraq so long as Syria and Iran are providing support and sanctuary. In short, do whatever is necessary, and do it now.

Second – and in my judgment, even more important — you need to fight harder in Washington. To explain why this will help win the war in Iraq, let me tell you about how one of your predecessors acted domestically in a way that had a huge foreign impact. Shortly after President Reagan took office, our country’s 13,000 air-traffic controllers went on strike. Reagan ordered them back to work, and when they refused he did the one thing neither the controllers nor anyone else ever imagined he would do: he fired them all.


With all respect, sir, your performance in Washington has been too weak. You are letting Congress get away with stiffing John Bolton, you cut a compromise in the Senate that got a few judges confirmed but that left the Democrats in a position to filibuster whichever future nominees they choose, you haven’t vetoed a single bill despite all the budget-busting pork that is mortgaging our children’s future, and while you are out giving speeches to Rotary Clubs about how to save Social Security, your proposal to privatize a portion of future payments is being strangled in its crib by the Democrats. Whatever may be the domestic effects of all this, the foreign effects are catastrophic. The terrorists in Iraq, their leaders who are hiding in caves, the mullahs in Teheran, the creep in Damascus and the nut in North Korea – they all see what is happening to your programs and your people, and the judgment they are reaching is this: if you aren’t willing to fight to the death in Washington, you aren’t willing to fight to the death in Iraq.

The American Thinker is so right. You should go now and read this letter. I just hope the President does, and that he realizes he has a large constituency that agrees with it.