If you watch cable TV, you already know that the press, which touted General Ricardo Sanchez’s remarks on Bush administration failures in Iraq as gospel truth, left out what the general said about the media.
Daniel Henninger reports and comments on this overlooked part of the general’s speech-and reveals other unreported remarks about other American institutions. It’s so devastating that Henninger urges you to wear body armor while reading. Here are some snatches:
“Congress and politics. ‘Since 2003, the politics of war have been characterized by partisanship as the Republican and Democratic parties struggled for power in Washington. . . . National efforts to date have been corrupted by partisan politics that have prevented us from devising effective, executable, supportable solutions. These partisan struggles have led to political decisions that endangered the lives of our sons and daughters on the battlefield. The unmistakable message was that political power had greater priority than our national security objectives.’
“The bureaucracies. Gen. Sanchez argues that ‘unity of effort’ was hampered by the absence of any coordinated authority over the war effort of the bureaucracies: ‘The Administration, Congress and the entire interagency, especially the Department of State, must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic failure.’
‘Clearly,” he says, ‘mistakes have been made by the American military in its application of power. But even its greatest failures in this war can be linked to America’s lack of commitment, priority and moral courage in this war effort. . . . America has not been fully committed to win this war.'”
The general’s contention that the Iraq war is “a nightmare” and “without end” got huge play-what didn’t get play was his belief of what could be an even bigger nightmare-leaving before we finish the job.
Like me, Henninger worries that our present situation may be harbinger of an even worse one: a realization that we can never again fight a war, no matter how vital to our national interests.