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IRAQ AND VIETNAM: MODERATION IN ACTION | 2004-04-10

The details in Iraq are different, but the situation is the same. Bush wants to use force, and liberals say we are not being sweeties, so the Administration is "plotting a middle course."

I think the Iraq War was fought for Israel. But that has nothing to do with my attitude once American troops are actually there. Once our troops are there, I have the same attitude I had about Vietnam: Fight it or get the hell out.

But the bureaucrats in uniform (and anybody who gets promoted to general is just one more bureaucrat) look straight into the camera and repeat the old Vietnam slogan, "We must win the hearts and minds of the people."

This is the fatal disease we call "moderation." We have the right, we have the left, and so we take the "middle course" between them. So we have troops in Iraq, but we demand that they obey all the rules liberals worry about.

The United States has decided to occupy Iraq. Americans in uniform are there to enforce that occupation.

Do it or get the hell out.

In the early 1960s, when there were huge riots in American cities, Popular Opinion kept asking, "What can we do if mobs take over a major city?"

They finally asked me that. I replied, "Cut off the water."

They were stunned. My obvious solution did not fit into the Serious Discussion of an Intractable Problem that I was supposed to be engaged in.

If we have troops in Iraq, my concern is our troops. Screw Iraqi hearts and minds.

If a city is making trouble for the occupation, cut off their water. Then anyone who comes out of the city is picked up and questioned before they are let out.

Or get the hell out.

But the bureaucrats in uniform say this wouldn't be nice. Bush doesn't want to be an extremist.

If you don't want to be an extremist, then get our troops the hell out of Iraq.

Nothing liberals advocate ever works. But Rush Limbaugh says that the left is "a legitimate point of view." So our policy is a compromise with proven leftist nonsense, the holy "middle course."

We won't fight, and we won't get out.

The bureaucrats in uniform are saying, "We will have to stay in Vietnam, sorry, I mean Iraq, for a long, long time."

I've seen this movie before.