Saturday, July 12, 2008


In a great column by Michael Barone drawing parallels between President Truman's decision making in the face of near unanimous opposition during the Berlin airlift and President Bush's determination to go forward with the troop surge in Iraq.

Barone writes:

But Bush, echoing Truman, said, at least in effect, we're not leaving Iraq. He embraced the proposals for the surge, which had been worked up by retired Gen. Jack Keane and American Enterprise Institute scholar Frederick Kagan. He found a commander, Gen. David Petraeus, who had rewritten the Army's manual on counterinsurgency and who had the character and skill to put the surge into effect.

As was the case with Tunner, the men and women serving under him showed unexpected ingenuity and the ability to adapt to unpredicted turns of events, like the Anbar awakening, which enabled them to convert Iraq's deadliest province into a friendly, peaceful territory. And, I am sure we will find out sooner or later, those troops also performed acts of generosity, which made their task easier and will produce goodwill that will last, as the candy bombings did, for decades to come.

The lessons are clear. Stand fast. Put the right men in charge. And never doubt the capacity of the men and women of the American military, when given the right orders, to perform far better than the experts predict.

Far too many people in America lack the fortitude to stand behind what they believe. We have evolved into a poll driven society, putting popularity before principal. Politicians follow instead of lead and the public agonizes over what Europeans think of us instead of standing firm in their convictions.

For his faults, President Bush has shown an amazing ability to lead out of his core beliefs. I'm glad he's willing to stand against evil and not back down.

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