Monday, November 03, 2003

Mood for a Day

Over at the National Review, Michael Ledeen gives aid and comfort to the enemy by criticizing the administration's conduct. One wonders why Kathleen Parker's mystery military hunk doesn't ask for him to be "lined up and shot." In any case, Ledeen sort of manages to meander from Iraq to Iran, so much of his criticism is about how we aren't gung ho enough about toppling statues in Tehran, but he starts off okay:

Let's start with a simple, albeit apparently unasked question: Who got fired for permitting Wolfowitz to stay at a hotel in Baghdad, when there was abundant evidence that Iranian-sponsored terrorists had been instructed to target the hotels? When a relative of mine recently asked for advice before making a trip to Baghdad, I had just one strong recommendation: "Never, ever, set foot in a hotel in Baghdad."

Evidently nobody told the deputy secretary of defense.

Placing Paul Wolfowitz in such a place at such a time was a criminal blunder, and everyone who okayed the decision should be fired, along with the people on the ground in Baghdad who seem unable to understand that we are really at war, and that our men need proper protection and intelligence, whether they are in helicopters or in convoys or in hummers. And if my information is correct, the terrorists now have anti-tank weapons, which we may see in action in the near future.

It's long past time — since September 12, 2001 to be precise — for people to be sacked for failure, and the fact that virtually no one has — except for Larry Lindsay (seemingly for insufficient aerobic exercise) and a couple of others dealing with "the economy" or with faith-based initiatives and volunteerism — is the greatest failure of this administration. The bureaucracy has learned that there is no penalty for failure. The only way to change their mindset is to do to them what Reagan did to the air controllers.

Unfortunately, Dubya has embraced the Loyalty Thing that is one of the Bush family's most cherished values. He doesn't turn on his own loyal aides, even (perhaps especially) when they come under attack. But this is no way to wage a war, where the only thing that matters is victory.

The uber-hawks are starting to lose it, methinks. The Neocon Excellent Adventure is falling apart and they're lashing out trying to blame someone.

...the other thing, of course, is that the answer to who put Wolfowitz in a hotel is Wolfowitz. This was his USO tour of smiling happy Iraqi people, and he wasn't going to run away to Kuwait at night.