El Jefe is up to his posterior section in alligators with work this morning, so this will be an abbrieviated entry.
Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Peop. Rep. San Francisco) isn't even Speaker yet, but, as Bob Novak makes clear, she's already shot herself in the foot over the selection of the House Majority Leader.
The Surrender Monkey set (including Ms. Pelosi) wants John Murtha (D-PA); but most members of the House Democratic caucus, says Mr. Novak, would rather have Steny Hoyer (D-MD), "who is more popular in the caucus and better qualified for leadership." Given that Representative Hoyer was the Minority Whip in the 109th Congress, it would seem to me that he'd be justified in expecting to be the Majority Whip; and, that Rep. Pelosi, in sending round a very public "Dear Colleague" letter endorsing Congressman Murtha, has treated Rep. Hoyer rather shabbily. Congressman Hoyer and his supporters appear to me to have correctly taken offense. Still, this is, after all, an internal matter for the Cut-and-Run party.
On the matter of cutting and running, Frederick Kagan absolutely demolishes the fantasy of strategic geniuses like Carl Levin and Joe Biden that calling chaotic, craven retreat "redeployment" or some similar obfuscating euphemism would amount to anything but a calamitous rout:
We face a stark choice now. We can either maintain bases and large forces in Iraq, or we can withdraw. If we withdraw, the Iraqi Army will collapse, and we will not be able to help it except by re-entering the country in large numbers and in a much worse situation. Attempts to mask this situation with military nonsensical solutions are dangerous. They will lead to higher US casualties or to defeat - and quite possibly to both.
The Weekly Standard has another fine offering on Iraq: "Six Steps to Victory: the Bottom-Up Plan to Defeat the Insurgency." by Eric Egland, (USAFR) who has experience on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan. (Hat tip: Chester). As Major Egland says: "[f]ailure in Iraq is not an option, because it would spell disaster for US national security and foreign policy credibility, not to mention military morale."
The major's recommendations mostly focus on better and smarter use of existing assets, and are all well-taken, but I believe this is insufficient. Fortunately, the Guardian reports, President Bush is planning a "last big push" which will involve, inter alia, 20,000 reinforcements (equivalent of a division). This is a good start, and will be helpful, but I would like to see more sent: unfortunately, as Chester points out, force structure is a limiting factor. I have some ideas on remedying this problem, but I'm not ready to reveal that particular tiger yet. Meanwhile, read Chester.
ADDENDUM: You have to read Daisy Cutter from yesterday. Cutter reminds us that, bad as things are, they can certainly get worse:
And I see that Nancy Pelosi is backing a nice slate of "Blue Dogs" in the House for leadership. Looks like Alcee "Impeach This" Hastings is going to lead the House "Intelligence" Committee. Henry "Canyons for Nostrils" Waxman claims he doesn't know where to start first in investigating various government abuses. And John "ABSCAM" Murtha (who says his opponents are "Swift Boating" him, aka effectively telling the truth about his past) is going to fight that wascally ol' Wepublican culture of corruption as the new Majority Leader.If these professional crooks are the answer, what is the question?