Senator Joe Lieberman wrote for last Monday's Wall Street Journal and reminded his readers - and former Democrat colleagues - of the stakes in Iraq: "A precipitous pullout would leave a gaping security vacuum in its wake, which terrorists, insurgents, militias and Iran would rush to fill--probably resulting in a spiral of ethnic cleansing and slaughter on a scale as yet unseen in Iraq... We are at a critical moment in Iraq--at the beginning of a key battle, in the midst of a war that is irretrievably bound up in an even bigger, global struggle against the totalitarian ideology of radical Islamism. However tired, however frustrated, however angry we may feel, we must remember that our forces in Iraq carry America's cause--the cause of freedom--which we abandon at our peril."
Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics notes that failure of 'the surge' will mean the end for Bush's Iraq policy: "Though a majority of the American people and members of Congress appear to have given up any hope of achieving success in Iraq, the Bush administration has not. Despite opposition, the White House has been slowly but surely moving ahead, playing what amounts to the last card in its hand on Iraq. That play, for lack of a better word, boils down to a new plan currently underway to secure the Iraqi capital. It's a plan that was conceived out of necessity last year as the administration reviewed all possible options for achieving success in Iraq. Ultimately, as a senior administration official told me in an interview on Tuesday, the conclusion was reached that "the risks associated with not stabilizing Baghdad were unacceptable."
Victor Davis Hanson, on National Review, still believes that the Iraq war - a just war - can be won: "Somehow a war to remove a mass-murdering psychopath — a psychopath with his hands on a trillion-dollars worth of petroleum reserves, with a long record of attacking four of his neighbors and of harboring and subsidizing terrorists — who, once removed, would be replaced with the first truly consensual government in the history of the Arab Middle East, ended up being perceived... as something it was not. But if we have an orphaned war that is dubbed lost, it nevertheless can still be won. None of our mistakes has been fatal; none is of a magnitude unprecedented in past wars; all have been cataloged; and few are now being repeated. We now understand the politics of our Iraqi odyssey, with all its triangulations, and the ruthlessness of our enemies."
The Editors of the New York Post sat down with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and he reminded readers of what's at stake in the war on terror: "We tried weakness in the Middle East. Liberalism had a shot at this. And [yet] we're not prepared to get up and say to Teddy Kennedy, "You guys did this before, I mean, do you really want to go back and do it again?" We've got to start with that notion - you had better think through a grand strategy, and you had better be prepared to do what it takes. Somebody ought to do a map of this city, one that assumes it was a nuclear weapon on 9/11, not an airplane, and just show the amount of damage you're gonna have in this city . . . I'm warning you, this is real; these people tell you every day - that when they get a chance to kill you, they're going to."
And finally... Mark Steyn uses his Chicago Sun Times column to ridicule Revd Al Gore's climate change theatrics: "How do "carbon offsets" work? Well, let's say you're a former vice president and you want to reduce your "carbon footprint," but the gorgeous go-go Gore gals are using the hair dryer every night. So you go to a carbon-credits firm and pay some money and they'll find a way of getting somebody on the other side of the planet to reduce his emissions and the net result will be "carbon neutral." It's like in Henry VIII's day. He'd be planning a big ox roast and piling on the calories but he'd give a groat to a starving peasant to carry on starving for another day and the result would be calorie-neutral."