Saturday, December 16, 2006

Don't mean to beat a dead ISG horse, but...

The ISG report seems to be dead in the water. And that's a good thing. The idea behind the report was to get us all to come together, and we did. The only problem is we came together in condemning it.

Krauthammer sees the ISG report as having given Bush "one last chance to alter course on Iraq." In James Baker and his clueless cronies, Bush has been lucky in his opponents--as he so often is. Their suggestions were so inept that the report has temporarily revived the seemingly moribund Bush and given him at least a chance to regroup. And whatever new plan for Iraq he may come up with can hardly help but seem better than the utterly astounding ISG suggestion of begging Iran and Syria for assistance.

Dean Barnett is, likewise, happy that the ISG report took only a mere eight days to find--as he puts it--"history's ashbin." He calls for a new Churchill to define the path back to "greatness," something for which the American people yearn.

Unfortunately, as a Churchill fan, I have to say I don't expect one to be waiting in the wings.

Churchill was sui generis, as well as being very much a man of his times--which was acknowledged to be an earlier time even than World War II. His sort of rhetoric was not only unique, it was grounded in an age long past, and especially British (Tony Blair, for example, comes closer to it than any American ever could. Although not close enough.)

Nor do I think Dean himself really expects a Churchill to emerge. But he is looking for someone who can inspire and clearly articulate what we are fighting for. Someone who doesn't shirk from asking for sacrifice, and who does not gloss over hardship, but who understands why he/she is requesting it, and what is so important about this fight.

"Leadership" is an old-fashioned word, and a concept towards which many are suspicious. But without it, and without clear vision of success, we flounder.

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