failure of nerve is different from criticism
it is possible to support the war while thinking the Wh's strategy leaves a bit to be desired
Bush is not some infallible leader(as seen by his stance on immigration, spending and entitlemeents, the Harriet Miers fiasco, signing McCain-Feingold, not firing the dems in the state dept and CIA, his backdown over Fallujah I, surrendering to the EU on Iran, having his SecState openly call for a Palestinian state and saying that it would be the US' greatest legacy, and countless other things)
If he could make so many mistakes choose wrong strategies on all of those issues(and he's been skewered on FR for all of them), why is it so hard to accept that he may have made some mistakes or wrong choices on Iraq?
It's possible to support Bush and the GOP and criticize how they're running the occupation/war. It doesn't mean you're a liberal or a defeatist
I'd think if you went back on FR from Nov 2002-Mar 2003 and read the posts, very few predicted what is happening now or if they did, showed their support by it. If you had posted back then that 3 and a half years on we'd be where we are, most would have had a problem with it.
And not that this is dispositive, but if all this was happening in Iraq and Bill Clinton was C-in-C, the GOP and Conservatives would be all over his disasatrous leadership.
Criticizing Bush and trying to implement a better strategy is not defeatism.
In WW2 Germany, a lot of guys were in thrall with Hitler and just blindly followed him even when he was making catastrophic strategic blunders. Guys like Rommel, Guderian and others recognized this, but no one listened and just called them traitors or defeatists and cheered when the Fuehrer fired them or had them killed. We all know where blind faith and unwavering allegiance to one guy or one strategy got Germany.
I'm in no way saying Bush is Hitler, but the principle of unquestioned leadership and suppresion of dissent or questioning of strategy/tactics applies.
Lincoln had to fire McClellan before he got Grant
Johnson and Nixon had problems with Westmoreland and McNamara before they put Abrams and Laird in and started turning things around
Truman canned Mark Clark in Korea before he brought in McArthur to save the day in Inchon and turn things around.
If Bush needs to fire Rumseld, or cashier Abizaid or Casey, and get someone who has a better plan or strategy calling for that isn't defeatism, that's leadership.
Leadership requires the ability to adapt and recognize when a new approach is needed.
I think even Bush, Rumsfeld, the Pentagon and the GOP in Congress recognize by this point that something has to change and that things aren't exactly going to plan. Even Bush's consigliere Baker is calling for a new strategy and even pulling a Yalta with Iran and Syria(I hope Bush rejects that!)
But Perle, Adelman and other neo-cons are probably right to ask what's gone wrongm why it's happened, and what it means.
Adelman is right in that any hopes of doing anything to Iran, Syria or any other terrorists is finished.
If you had said in 2003 that by 2007 we'd still be Iraq, 100+ deaths in a month, thousands more Iraqis dead in a month, a pro_Iranian leader in charge of a weak govt in Baghdad, Iran and Syria openly supporting attacks against us, hundreds of billions spent each year, and Iran, Syria and other terrorist leaders and groups remaining unscathed, very few would have believed you and the rest would have been horrified at the thought.