March 25, 2011


Give War a Chance (WILLIAM KRISTOL, 4/04/11, Weekly Standard)

We’re at war. We need to succeed in that war. By all means, be generous with the constructive criticism. (For example, it seems ridiculous for the United States not to be arming the Libyan opposition.) Note for the historical record the Obama administration’s dithering and double-talk. But don’t carp and cavil in ways that suggest America can’t prevail, or that America shouldn’t prevail. Don’t revel in every administration misstep. Don’t chortle at every misstatement. Don’t exacerbate the administration’s failure to build domestic support for the mission. Put the mission, and the country, first.

Which means, to some extent, that we might consider biting our collective tongues, wishing the president well because he is our president, and helping him get it right rather than pointing with glee to everything he’s doing wrong. Which in turn means that we might want to cool it with the 24/7 criticism. Let’s support our troops and their mission, and give the war a chance—even though it’s a war that’s not being perfectly conducted by an administration that offers plenty of cause for frustration.

You go to war with the president you have. This isn’t the one we conservatives preferred. We have a good chance to remove him in 2012. We should work to do so. But first let’s remove Qaddafi, help get Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen right, and—who knows?—despite our reluctant president, push the administration to have the backs of those fighting for regime change in Syria and Iran.

It's embarrassing that so many of our friends need to be told this.

Posted by at March 25, 2011 6:10 PM

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