Jewish World Review Sept. 5, 2013/ 30 Elul, 5773
Familiar territory: Haven't we been here before?
By Paul Greenberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This is where we came in. For we've seen this movie before, or rather this all too real, all too familiar tragedy. And travesty. In the Korean War and Stalemate, for painful example, the military objective became not victory but an unending, inconclusive draw -- day after bloody day. And year.
After a dramatic end run -- the master stroke that was the Inchon Landing, Allied troops led by American forces headed for the Yalu and the liberation of all the Korean peninsula. But on the verge of victory, the military calculus was turned upside down by the massive intervention of well-prepared, well-supplied troops pouring into the battle from
Having let himself be surprised, the great American commander -- the long triumphant and occasionally humiliated but always imperious
American casualties mounted ever higher, eroding what was left of the country's will to win. Not till a new commander-in-chief took over in
The armistice in Korea was achieved within months of
Now, once again, an uncertain trumpet is sounded. A president and supposed commander-in-chief has invited
How long before, once again, vague and always changing Rules of Engagement hamstring American power? How long before gradual escalation takes the place of any objective as clear as victory? And the aim of all this sacrifice becomes nothing more than a "decent interval," to use
Question: Just what is this president's goal in ravaged
What can the beleaguered and divided forces of freedom in
There ought to be a better reason for going to war than a vague feeling that something ought to be done, or at least seem to be done, and hoping the legislative branch can figure out what that is and how to do it -- no matter what the Constitution says about the president's having the responsibility of waging war.
Call it war-by-committee. Mournful memories of Korea and
Better to do nothing than pretend to do something -- and confirm the growing impression that America has given up leading the world and wants only to retreat from it. Even while making a symbolic gesture of concern for the 100,000-plus already killed in
The toll in
Now this president proposes to hand off responsibility for America's latest war to a committee of 535. That does not sound like an improvement. Other than spreading the responsibility for any debacle all around, what is the object of the war resolution he's just put before
Once the dogs of war are unleashed and Havoc cried, there are no certainties, including how long
No doubt all the sunshine soldiers and sunshine patriots in
It's hard to think of a single adjective that would better capture the spirit of such "leadership" than feckless. Yet not to support the president at this turn would be worse than supporting him, for it would confirm what America's enemies around the world hope, and our allies have all too much reason to fear: that America is no longer the great champion of freedom in a dangerous and uncertain world but a helpless, pitiable giant.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.