"Weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm" ran the tagline of GWB's "Wolves" -- blogged here last October -- the most emotionally compelling campaign ad since LBJ's "Daisy." It's a concept Tiny and Baby and the local mouse community know instinctively, even as some of our intellectual elites seem to have lost touch with their inner prey. In the predawn (above) the animals head toward the breakfast kitchen, listening (note Baby's back-turned ears) and pausing to turn around (Tiny) to see what's taking us so long.
"One of the new battlefield 'must have' pieces of equipment for an infantry squad is a digital camera," writes Major K. in his latest report from the front in Baghdad:
In fighting this insurgency, there is so much care given to the avoidance of harming of innocents that we now have assumed many tactics and duties normally expected of police officers. We have claim forms for houses that are raided and property damaged by mistake. We have to document and catalog evidence to make a case against people that we capture . . . The process is painstaking and often frustrating to soldiers who have, up until recently, been trained for maneuver warfare.
The problem, of course, is those "ever increasing restrictions heaped upon them by the politically correct microscope under which they must fight an absolutely diabolical enemy that does not hesitate to use these restrictions against us. The constant second-guessing of the press and those who are not here (politicians, activists, etc.) is doubly frustrating. They [ the soldiers] are truly amazing.
The Wall Street Journal's editors have a few discouraging words this morning for those armchair second-guessers back home who "lost their nerve when the going got tough" in the chaotic aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom:
This may well be the most important lesson coming out of the Iraq war. The outcome of major combat operations was never seriously in doubt, although plenty of supposedly serious people predicted the siege of Baghdad would be America's Stalingrad. What was in doubt, however, was whether the U.S. could prevail if the war became an extended test of wills against a determined foe using guerrilla and terrorist tactics. This was a test not of the skill or bravery of the American soldier, but of the home front's willingness to see the war through; a test in which the key to victory wasn't competence but perseverance.
President Bush passed that test . . . The American people also passed the test . . . Americans also understood that credibility had to be restored if the war on terror was to be won, above all by not devising "exit strategies" in the face of a jihadist onslaught.
That leaves America's elite -- the politicians, wise men, think-tank experts, academics, magazine and editorial-page editors, big-city columnists, TV commentators . . . Many opposed the war from the start [but] sad to say, this time around the doubters included all too many conservatives who supported the war at first but then distanced themselves from it as the insurgency grew. They had their own reputational "exit strategies."
As we posted here last October, commenting on that hair-raising GW wolf ad (see photo caption above):
The forces of darkness (apologies to wolves, who have their own imperatives, which we totally respect but would always defend our own against) are forever waiting just outside the campfire of civilization to move in for the kill.
Osama's observation that when people have a choice between a strong horse and a weak horse, they go with the strong horse comes to mind.
Fortunately, the gut instincts of the American people prevailed when we voted in the strong horse for four more years.