Posted by: Kevin | August 23, 2007

Another Voice in the Wilderness?

2 weeks ago Retired Major General John Batiste penned an editorial on Iraq and submitted it to both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.  Gen. Batiste is the former commanding general of the 1st infantry division and led that division through the first several years of the war.  He would seem ideally suited to speak about our efforts in Iraq.  Neither the Washington Post nor the Wall Street Journal elected to publish his words. 

So yesterday his editorial was posted in Think Progress.  Here are some of the highlights:

As a conservative, I am all for a strong military and setting the conditions for success. America goes to war to win.

I am outraged that elected officials of my own party do not comprehend the predicament we are in with a strategy in the Middle East that lacks focus and is all but relying on the military to solve the diplomatic, political, and economic Rubik’s Cube that defines Iraq.

It is disappointing that so many elected representatives of my party continue to blindly support the administration rather than doing what is in the best interests of our country.

Besides the fact that many conservatives allowed President Bush to jump head-first into a war of choice, the bullheadedness of Congressional Republicans who argue for staying the course runs contrary to conservative values.

Our military and our treasury are not unlimited resources. The war in Iraq is breaking our fine Army and Marine Corps, and we are perilously close to doing damage that will take more than a decade to fix.

The only way to stabilize Iraq and allow our military to rearm and refit for the long fight ahead is to begin a responsible and deliberate redeployment from Iraq and replace the troops with far less expensive and much more effective resources–those of diplomacy and the critical work of political reconciliation and economic recovery.

I highly recommend reading the whole thing at Think Progress, it serves as proof that Conservative and Progressive don’t have to be mutually exclusive terms.  To Gen. Batiste I say, “Welcome to the wilderness.”  Of course it’s a joke to call it the wilderness anymore.  It stopped being that more than a year ago when most people woke up to the fact that this isn’t a war that can be won by the military.  It’s the neocons and their enablers who are out in the wilderness now.  Unfortunately, they took the government and a fair chunk of the MSM with them.


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