Dear Ken: About That Cakewalk…

Three years ago in the Washington Post Ken
Adelman, formerly an assistant to Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld, promised us "Cakewalk
In Iraq
I wonder how Mr. Adelman feels
about his promise today.

In his article, Adelman disparaged

Brookings Institution military analysts
and the
redoubtable Edward Luttwak for "fear-mongering."
Adelman dismissed concerns about US casualties and
unilateral action as misguided worries that inspire
inaction when it was perfectly clear, to Adelman at
least, that Iraq`s Saddam "Hussein constitutes the
number one threat against American security and

As for concerns about going it alone, "President
Bush does not need to amass rinky-dink nations as
`coalition partners` to convince the Washington
establishment that we`re right."

The Washington establishment must be wondering today
how it was convinced into making such a fatal mistake.

Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam
Hussein had no terrorist links or involvement in the
September 11 terror attack. US casualties (dead and
wounded) now stand at 10 percent of the US invasion
force. A few thousand lightly armed insurgents have tied
down eight US divisions. Iraq`s infrastructure lies in
ruins. Fallujah, once a city of 300,000, has been
destroyed. The US has lost control of the roads, and
most of the US fighting force is confined to protecting
supply lines and its own bases. The US military is
cracking under the strain of prolonged service in the

The cost of the war mounts, putting more pressure on
a collapsing US dollar. The US occupation has recruited
thousands of new terrorists for Osama bin Laden and
provided a training ground. Torture and torture memos
have destroyed America`s moral reputation. Civil war
looms as neither Sunnis, Shiites, nor Kurds are willing
to support a government they do not control.
Anti-American feelings throughout the Middle East
threaten to undermine the secular puppets that the US
keeps afloat in Pakistan, Egypt and Jordan.

There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Generals
speak of staying another 3, 5, 7, and 10 years in order
"to get the job done."

If this is a cakewalk, what is a failed invasion and
a lost war?

Where Mr. Adelman, the neoconservatives, the
Pentagon, the White House, the flag-wavers, and the
media went wrong was in thinking the outcome would be
settled by a set piece battle between massed Iraqi and
US forces. They thought this because they knew nothing
whatsoever about Iraq.

The Sunni-controlled Iraqi military chose insurgency
as the strategy. Suck the invader in, and make him
unsafe on every street and in every building. Blow him
up in his own fortified bases.

Their strategy has worked. Ours has failed.

The question is: are Americans smart enough to
realize this?

Our government is not smart enough. The occupant of
the Oval Office is drowning in hubris and delusion. The

are still in charge of the Bush
administration, and they are still talking fantasies
about taking out Iran and Syria and imposing our will on
the Middle East.

This is extraordinary delusion when we have
conclusively demonstrated that we cannot even impose our
will on Fallujah, not even after leveling the city to
the ground. We cannot even impose our will on the road
from Baghdad to the airport.

The promised Iraqi election, if held, will settle
nothing. If it is not a total disaster, it might provide
cover for US withdrawal, not piecemeal but all at once.
If 150,000 US troops are in jeopardy, piecemeal
withdrawal will place remaining troops in more jeopardy.

Americans must ask themselves where lies our biggest

Is it the Iraqi insurgency, or is it President Bush
who will not admit a mistake?

How long will we bleed in Iraq? How many war crimes
will we commit in frustration with an invisible enemy?
How intense will Muslim hatred of Americans become? At
what point will this hatred unseat our puppets and
deliver the Middle East to Osama bin Laden or his

Three more years? Five more years? We certainly
cannot get away with it for seven or ten more years.

The US invasion of Iraq was a strategic blunder. It
has greatly damaged US credibility, while greatly
enhancing Osama bin Laden`s credibility.

Who will provide the
desperately needed leadership that will rescue America
from this self-inflicted catastrophe?


Paul Craig Roberts is the author with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good
Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are
Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice



for Peter Brimelow`s

Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the
recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.