An Open Letter to the President
Herbert E. Meyer has written a much-needed letter to the president in today's American Thinker. I pray that someone in the administration reads this -- and takes it to heart. Truer words were never spoken. I urge everyone to read this article in its entirety:
Dear Mr. President,
I've no idea what your advisers are telling you, but based on my own experience in Washington I suspect they are talking more bluntly among themselves than they are to you. So I'm writing to deliver an unpleasant message you must hear, and hear now: We are in danger of losing the war in Iraq.
To understand why, think back for a moment to what happened in Vietnam. Even as our troops did better and better on the ground -- as they killed more and more North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers and secured more and more of South Vietnam itself -- support for that war eroded here at home. For example, the Tet offensive was a huge military victory for our forces -- but a decisive political defeat in the US. Simply put, we didn't lose the Vietnam war in Vietnam. We lost it in Washington.
. . . History teaches that once public support for a war starts to erode -- no matter what may be the actual, on-the-ground situation -- it erodes at an accelerating rate. But what matters most isn't so much the actual date you project for when the two lines will intersect. Rather, what matters most is that you recognize these two lines now are on a collision course, and that you understand what this means:
You have less time to win this war than you thought you had. So to win, you will need to fight harder.
. . . In short, do whatever is necessary, and do it now. Second and in my judgment, even more important -- you need to fight harder in Washington. To explain why this will help win the war in Iraq, let me tell you about how one of your predecessors acted domestically in a way that had a huge foreign impact.
Shortly after President Reagan took office, our country's 13,000 air-traffic controllers went on strike. Reagan ordered them back to work, and when they refused he did the one thing neither the controllers nor anyone else ever imagined he would do: he fired them all. The ensuing political explosion is well known, but what isn't well known is what effect the President's decision had on the Soviet Union's leaders.
It terrified them, because they realized that in Ronald Reagan they were confronting a President who was willing to put all his chips on the table and go for broke no matter what might be the political consequences. I had access to a lot of top-secret intelligence in those days, and I can tell you that during the next few years there were several very dangerous things the Kremlin wanted to do, but refrained from doing purely out of fear over how President Reagan would respond.
. . . The outcome will be determined by the decisions you make both foreign and domestic in the coming weeks.
God bless you, sir, for all you have done to keep us safe. Now, go get 'em.
Herbert E. Meyer