Stay the course or up the ante

Word is that G.W. Bush is dropping the term “stay the course.”[*1]

“He’s stopped using it,” said Tony Snow, the White House presssecretary. “It left the wrong impression about what was going on and itallowed critics to say, ‘Well, here’s an administration that’s justembarked upon a policy and not looking at what the situation is,’ when,in fact, it is the opposite.”


Ralph Peters points the way to a solution[*2] .  It won’t be pretty.

We did the right and virtuous thing by deposing Saddam Hussein. There’sno reason even now to regret that act. But history will condemn us -justly – for the moral cowardice we revealed after the fall of Baghdad:We would not kill the handful of men who needed killing. Now they’veconverted tens of thousands to their cult of violence.
. . .

Political compromise is not a tradition of the Middle East – life and power are viewed as zero-sum games.

And the ugly truth is that some men love to kill. Torture and murder are addictive. The lifelong loser empowered to kill for a cause becomes a little god. And when the violence ends, the party’s over.

The butchers our timidity unleashed are enjoying themselves. They’rehaving the time of their lives executing unarmed civilians.

How many American – and foreign – lives must we sacrifice to staywithin our privileged comfort zone, clinging to the lie that “all menwant peace”? A compromise peace is the last thing Iraq’s killers want.

Emphasis mine.

Peters thinks it’s too late for American power to salvage the situation, and that the Iraqis must now do it themselves.  I don’t agree.  But it will require a level of aggression and ruthlessness that will scandalize the tender sensibilities of the world’s chattering classes.   I think the majority of Americans actually understand what needs to be done, and would loudly cheer such a crackdown.  But they can’t be heard over the shrill complaints of the media elites.  The American public usually has more common sense than its leaders and “opinion-makers.”

They all hate us anyhow, let’s drop the Big One now — Randy Newman, “Political Science”

(And no, I don’t mean going nuclear . . . )