March 18, 2005


Bold appointments (Jules Witcover, March 18, 2005, Baltimore Sun)

The latest example of in-your-face diplomacy by President Bush - the nomination of Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank - is yet another declaration of independence from world opinion that the president professes to be courting.

Coming after the appointment of a professed critic of the United Nations, John R. Bolton, to be the ambassador to the world body that Mr. Bush loves to twit, the message to supposed allies and friends is: Get over it.

What Mr. Bush wants the world, and the United Nations in particular, to get over is how he brushed aside their widespread opposition to his invasion of Iraq two years ago. He later seemed to go out of his way to fuel antagonism in "Old Europe," in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's memorable phrase.

Mr. Wolfowitz, a former ambassador to Indonesia and Mr. Rumsfeld's deputy in running the Pentagon, undoubtedly has the paper credentials to take on the World Bank job. But his impetuous urging of the Iraq invasion, the unforeseen pitfalls and the colossal costs in men and treasure, question his judgment and credibility.

So, if 1500 men is "so great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe," then what adjective would Mr. Witcover have left over to describe the 400,000+ dead Americans of WWII?

Mind you, we lost as many on just the Arizona and the Oklahoma, on the first day of our participation in WWII, as we have in Iraq.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 18, 2005 8:24 PM

Suppose he ever heard of U. S. Grant's strategy for saving the Union?

Posted by: ghostcat at March 18, 2005 10:01 PM

And in the first few hours of D-Day...

Posted by: Rick T. at March 18, 2005 10:26 PM

Don't forget the Indianapolis. Always, the Indianapolis.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 18, 2005 10:31 PM

I should note the Indy cost us "only" 880 men. But I don't recall the level of liberal bitching being significantly less when the death toll was a shade under 900, do you?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 18, 2005 10:35 PM

First hours of D-Day, how about training for D-Day. Operation Tiger cost half as many lives! I think the biggest military accomplishment of the War on Terror is to redefine for our enemies -- and for their (unwitting?) allies in the anti-American Left -- the degree to which Americans will confront enemies. The Left set the bar ar Kosovo (50,000 ft standard) and Mogadishu (a dozen an out). The terrorists gambled based on that. They lost.

Posted by: Moe from NC at March 19, 2005 6:53 AM

Don't forget, we lost over 3,000 on the first day of this war.

Posted by: Mike Morley at March 19, 2005 6:58 AM

Actually, the proper question to ask is whether the left would fight if armed jihadists invaded Boston and San Francisco, raping and killing women, and killing all homosexuals.

Of course they wouldn't (although some of the intended victims might). The "elites" would run, led by Barbara Boxer, Gavin Newsom, Juan Cole, and John F. Kerry. They would beg Kofi Annan to do something, and they would go on PBS and drone on about the processes of war. But would they fight? Never.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 19, 2005 8:47 AM

oh i think plenty on the left would fight if the jihadists invaded s.f. -- fight for the jihad that is. probably form the johnnie walker lindh brigade.

Posted by: cjm at March 19, 2005 11:53 AM