The American approach shows little sense of Middle Eastern history and politics. As one prominent Kuwaiti academic explained to me, in the Muslim world the best way to deal with your enemies has always been to assimilate them – you never succeed in killing them all, and by trying to do so you just make more enemies. Instead, you must woo them to rejoin society and the government. Military pressure should be used in a calibrated way, to help in the wooing.
From a NYT Op-Ed by Wesley Clark
My view on the current situation is that it is lost. We simply can not win. The sole reason why we can not win is the total lack of a defined condition for winning. Right wing slogans like stay the course and finishing the job, absent a description of the course or a list of tasks associated with said job; are nothing more than excuses for open ended occupation. What we on the left want is a plan. We want the Administration to explain what we can expect to accomplish and what the plan to accomplish it is and when we can expect the troops to finish that job and come home.
We don’t want to give Bush more blank checks and excuse him from goals and metrics that would actually measure progress to those stated goals. Somehow the right has twisted that to mean cut and run.