On July 7, 1863, three days after Vicksburg's surrender and four days after Gettysburg, Lincoln took out a sheet of blue-lined paper and wrote to his general in chief, urging that the fleeing rebels be destroyed. If they were, Lincoln wrote, "the rebellion will be over."I'm not saying W is like Lincoln, but any one who would suggest that it is possible to be victorious in Iraq hasn't paid any attention to the grim realities on the ground:
But the Confederates escaped over the flooded river seven days later, the war went on for almost two more blood-soaked years, and Lincoln's six-line, handwritten note of optimism vanished into the crumbling files of history.
President Bush, on the other hand, has escalated the American military involvement here on the assumption that the Iraqi factions have tired of armed conflict and are ready to reach a grand accord. Certainly there are Iraqis who have grown weary. But they are not the ones at the country’s helm; many are among some two million who have fled, helping leave the way open for extremists to take control of their homeland.Perhaps we were wrong to remove Saddam:
“We’ve changed nothing,” said Fakhri al-Qaisi, a Sunni Arab dentist turned hard-line politician who has three bullets lodged in his torso from a recent assassination attempt. “It’s dark. There will be more blood.”
“In the history of Iraq, more than 7,000 years, there have always been strong leaders,” he said. “We need strong rulers or dictators like Franco, Hitler, even Mubarak. We need a strong dictator, and a fair one at the same time, to kill all extremists, Sunni and Shiite.”To those who would argue that it was good to decapitate the Iraqi government, the facts are not bearing out in favor of that position.