The lady in Maine gets it:
"Any proposed solution to the current conflict with Islamic totalitarianism that fails to take into account its worldwide scope, relentless nature, and willingness to fight very dirty, is going to be a half-baked effort. In order to mount a "successful" campaign with an effective plan, we not only need creativity and intelligence, we need commitment, focus, and an understanding that this will be a long hard fight."
The following is a comment I posted to "The definition of "success" in war: Part II (colonialism and occupation)", over at neo-neocon:
I agree with Kurt's sentiments here:
"I've been a supporter of the war from the beginning, and yet, I think you've overstated the case of the unknowns about the costs involved with this war from the beginning. Before the war, one of the arguments against it was simply that we had an insufficient plan for what would happen after Saddam was toppled."
Iraq is a front in a larger war. Creating a democratic Iraq, whole cloth as in something that a majority of Americans would instantly recognize, is simply not going to happen as long as the prime movers of Islamic fascism are in business.
The same is true for the Long War.
Whether or not Iraq becomes a functioning democracy in X number of years is secondary to what remains to be done if we are serious about ending Islamic fascism. State support makes possible the exporting of murder to worldwide targets. Decapitating the states that are behind that industry is the first logical step that must be taken but won't happen until some pivotal event, or confluence of events, occurs to make what's left of the West act in earnest.
We don't have enough troops or contractors or money to WalMart every shithole like Afghanistan or Iraq. I believe that Democratization as a plan was the bravest, most liberal foreign policy initiative put forth by any U.S. president since the Marshall Plan. But Democratization relied on unity of effort and a willingness to name the enemy... neither of which has been very much in evidence.
But we've got more than enough offensive capability to totally destroy any number of nations' ability to function as a nation state. We can project force on a point anywhere on the planet. And the nature of our most lethal, overt adversaries - Iran, the Royal's Wahabbist cancer in KSA, the Assad regime - dictatorships all - means that cutting the head off means an opportunity for different leadership to rise up.
I reject the Powell Doctrine where Arab/muslim countries that host Islamist terror are concerned. By attacking them, we aren't breaking anything that wasn't already lethally broken already, at least where the possibility that we could ever peacefully coexist with them is concerned.
Decapitate the regimes. Maintain training and readiness to deal with the opportunists (China and Russia) who will surely seek leverage in the disarray to follow.
We can always offer help to genuine reform movements. We do charity better than anyone. But the people that want to kill us... we must take them at their word sooner rather than later and take the fight to them first. They celebrate every pointless murder as victory. Let us return some very pointed killing and show them what debt their martyrs are incurring.
There is too much money in the hands of too many barbarians chasing way, way too many flavors of lethal weapons around the world. It is only time that waits to be filled before those who aren't interested in war find out how true it is that war is, indeed, interested in them.
Disclaimer: I believe that the western Left and legacy media killed Democratization out of fear that its success would favor George Bush, and by extension the United States. I also believe that history's judgement will come pretty close to acknowledging it, too.