Excellent article about overall state of things. I was so po'd about the axis of weasels this week in the Security Council, not that I think they will achieve anything substantive: http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/21743.htm RUNNING OUT THE CLOCK By RALPH PETERS May 28, 2004 -- IT'S easy to tell when terrorists and thugs are near defeat: They ask for a cease-fire. It's just as simple to tell when the diplomats have overruled our military: We agree to the proposed cease-fire. And stop short of victory again. Despite President Bush's assurances at the U.S. Army War College on Monday night, we still don't have a detailed plan to get us past the June 30 transfer of power. But if we don't have a strategy, our enemies in Iraq, the greater Middle East and Europe certainly do. From Muqtada al-Sadr to Jacques Chirac, they hope to run out the clock before we can win. Sadr's insurrection turned disastrous for him. His shabby legions are broken or dead, his influence has fallen from minor to trivial status, and he could hear a slamming cell door in his future (maybe those photos from Abu Ghraib had an upside, after all). So, emulating the terrorists in Fallujah, he struck a deal to save himself from our troops. So much for our refusal to negotiate with terrorists. Our diplomats and bureaucrats are tumbling over each other to cut deals with those who kill our soldiers, slaughter civilians and hope to derail the future of Iraq. Congratulations, guys. Meanwhile, the pathological America-haters of Old Europe have returned to their pre-war efforts to frustrate our hopes by turning Iraq back over to bully-boys willing to cut deals with French and German companies and who'll drop any investigations into the oil-for-food scandal even quicker than we appear ready to do. Of course, China wants us to fail. No-brainer there. And Russia wants a sympathetic authoritarian government in Baghdad. But what about our French and German "friends," before whom Bush is on his knees begging for Security Council votes? The Germans are madly anti-American, but far too cowardly to oppose the United States on their own. The core of the problem is France. French hatred of America is equally pathological, but it's also coldly calculated for maximum damage. Paris wants to dictate the terms of any new United Nations resolution regarding Iraq. It's willing to wreck the hopes of 26 million people to spite Washington and make a couple of euros. The French want to design the world, but they can't even build an airport terminal indeed, the recent collapse of that brand-new, $90 million passenger terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport is a perfect metaphor for French policy. They've wrecked everything they've touched. Now they know exactly what to do in Iraq: Establish a firm deadline for the withdrawal of Coalition troops. What would such a deadline achieve? It would guarantee the terrorists and Baathist assassins that they only have to hang on, that the Americans and British will be gone and la belle France will ensure that those uppity Kurds and any Arabs foolish enough to believe in democracy and human rights will be served up on a platter to the Middle East's latest consortium of murderers. The strategy of the terrorists in Fallujah, of Sadr's ragtag murderers and of our French "allies" is exactly the same: Limit the number of quarters in the game, then call as many time-outs as necessary to let Team Terror recover whenever the Coalition offense threatens to score. The administration's response? A ref from the United Nations. Guess who's going to get called "out of bounds"? What happened to the decisive George W. Bush? The man who deposed a gruesome dictator? Who promised freedom to the Iraqi people? Where's the president who had the courage to stand up to the bloodsoaked continent that gave us Auschwitz, Treblinka and that triumph of civilization, Vichy France? Where's the Bush who believed in taking the War on Terror to our deadly enemies? Our president doesn't resemble Bill Clinton, who surrendered before he fought. Nor does he resemble LBJ, befuddled by his neo-cons (sorry, I meant "whiz kids"). Above all, Bush resembles Woodrow Wilson, who rescued civilization from German barbarism, then found himself outmaneuvered by the Euro-gang at Versailles. Will Bush surrender to Europe, as his plenipotentiaries surrendered to the Baathists in Fallujah and now deny our Army its hard-earned victory against Sadr? Don't the lost lives of our soldiers mean anything to him? Will we surrender all we've gained for a passing nod of support from the United Nations, an organization as vicious as it is corrupt and inept? (Thank God it is inept, or the viciousness would be far more worrisome.) Do we hand over the Kurds to the pan-Arabists? Do we let yesterday's strongmen, from Mubarak to the Saudis, decide the future of Iraq? After all our promises? Has our president's courage failed because he faces an electoral contest against a spineless man who believes in nothing? It's painful enough to despair for Iraq. One begins to despair for America. In Robert Bolt's magnificent (if historically inaccurate) play, "A Man For All Seasons," Thomas More confronts a bureaucrat who betrayed him in return for a provincial stewardship. More says, "Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . But for Wales!" Is Bush willing to betray the future of Iraq, the War on Terror, America's security, and the sacrifice of our soldiers' lives to win in November? By assigning greater importance to an election than to the war, Bush is apt to lose both. The winners will be the terrorists and the forces of repression. Even the French will lose, although they're too blind to see it. The terrorists are coming for them, too, and can't be bought off. God's murderers won't even allow them a new Vichy regime. Our war in Iraq is winnable, and the peace in Iraq is winnable. But you can't win any game if you fold at half-time. Ralph Peters is the author of "Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace."