Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved
uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human
reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No
doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend
against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and
grenades and pistols.
The Iraqis we hear about are first indignant, and then infuriated, that
Americans aren't on the scene to protect them and to punish the
aggressors. And so they join the clothing merchant who says that
everything is the fault of the Americans....Mr. Bush has a very difficult internal problem here because to make the
kind of concession that is strategically appropriate requires a
mitigation of policies he has several times affirmed in high-flown
pronouncements. His challenge is to persuade himself that he can submit
to a historical reality without forswearing basic commitments in
He will certainly face the current development as military leaders are
expected to do: They are called upon to acknowledge a tactical setback,
but to insist on the survival of strategic policies.
Yes, but within their own counsels, different plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgment of defeat.