Friday, January 12, 2007

Friedman on the surge

"Make Them Fight All of Us" is Tom Friedman's answer to Bush today:
I’ve heard the president’s surge speech, and I have a reaction, an observation and some advice.

My reaction to the president’s speech was to recall a line from Bill Maher’s book about the war against terrorists: “Make them fight all of us.”

Mr. President, you want a surge? I’ll surge. I’ll surge on the condition that you once and for all enlist the entire American people in this war effort, and stop putting it all on the shoulders of 130,000 military families, and now 20,000 more. I’ll surge on the condition that you make them fight all of us — and that means a real energy policy, with a real gasoline tax, that ends our addiction to oil, shrinks the flow of petro-dollars to bad actors and makes America the world’s leader in conservation.

But please, Mr. President, stop insulting our intelligence by telling us that this is the “decisive ideological struggle of our time,” but we’re going to put the whole burden of victory on 150,000 U.S. soldiers. Yes, you’re right, confronting violent Islamic radicalism by trying to tilt Iraq and the Arab-Muslim world onto a more progressive track is indeed hugely important. But the way you have fought this war — with our pinky — is contemptible. For three years you would not summon the military means to back your lofty ends.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the fact that Bill Maher is now being cited as having had a better strategy than Bush on Iraq...