"(O)ur international problems are utterly intractable, and the sooner we recognize this, the better. ... We should figure out clever ways to declare victory at the first decent opportunity and remove our troops (from Afghanistan)."
Yale law professor
(from New York Times column dated Nov. 6, 2001)
Insistent that victory abroad was impossible -- one week before Kabul fell -- Professor Ackerman breezily invited Bush to engage in a hapless caper of putting Osama bin Laden on trial: "By all means, bring Osama bin Laden to justice and weaken or destroy the Taliban."
He instructed that "we should satisfy ourselves with limited victories abroad" because "our domestic problems are manageable." But "ridding the world of terrorism is quite another matter."
Using the strategy of a drunk looking for his keys under the lamppost (he didn't lose them there, but the light's better), Ackerman recommended that the Bush administration leave al-Qaida alone and concentrate on anti-choice extremists here in the United States.
Thus Ackerman explained: "We should be seriously engaged in anti-terrorism efforts at home. ... (O)ther attacks may well occur -- perhaps committed by homegrown extremists." Of course, other attacks may also well occur -- perhaps committed by Yale law professors. Getting al-Qaida will be tricky, but locking up Ackerman is doable.
Feigning objectivity while trying to demoralize the country, Ackerman wrote: "Even if we catch and kill Osama bin Laden, others will take his place."
It is a commonplace among men -- and I do mean men -- that civilian troops culled from a liberal democracy will always prevail over barbaric mercenaries with daggers between their teeth. But liberals have no confidence in a free nation. They are invariably mesmerized by the self-advertised brutality of savages.
Not surprisingly, many Times columnists subscribed to Ackerman's two-part war strategy for America: 1) SURRENDER NOW! and 2) focus on anti-choice extremists at home.
After ceaseless warnings of a "quagmire," the cover story on the Times' Week in Review section the week after Kabul fell was titled: "Surprise: War Works After All."