Rich Tucker

For proof, just look to the left-leaning think tanks. Such institutions serve as a sort of government-in-opposition. They give the leading minds on the left a place to hang out while they wait for a Democrat to be elected president, and they’re supposed to serve as a hotbed of ideas.

But as The Washington Post reported on Dec. 5, there are precious few ideas on the left.

Former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke’s take was typical. “I’m not prepared to lay out a detailed policy or strategy,” he said, helpfully.

Former presidential candidate Wesley Clark told the paper, “The U.S. can’t succeed by focusing on Iraq alone.” Citing his own experience, Clark added, “As NATO commander, I brought a coalition together to defeat [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic. We did that through diplomacy. That’s what forced him [to back down], not the bombing.”

Of course, we’ve already got a coalition in place. And if Clark wants to attempt to negotiate with Ayman al-Zawahri, he should go right ahead. Maybe they can exchange headgear, as he once did with Serbian war criminal Gen. Ratko Mladic.

 Former defense secretary William Perry is also vague. “If we pull out, it will leave an unsettled situation that is bad for the neighborhood and bad for us. Therefore I’d be willing to stay longer if I believed what we’re doing would lead to progress in six to 12 months,” he said. “But I have not seen that evidence, so I’m skeptical that it will.” Got that?

 Zbigniew Brzezinski at least has the courage of his convictions. “We have to face the fact that the war is not going well and is costing us too much, not only in blood and money but also in the U.S. position in the world, discrediting our legitimacy, credibility and morality even,” the former Carter aide said.

Good luck to Brzezinski, Dean et al. Betting against the United States military is a good way to go broke.

On Dec. 15, Iraqis will vote again, this time to select a full-term government. No doubt that government will eventually ask us to leave Iraq, and we will. At that time, however much Howard Dean screams, our troops will come home as winners.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for