The Last, Last Hope?

| Fri Apr. 13, 2007 4:25 PM EDT

Yesterday, Slate analyzed the administration's most recent (and secret) search for an Iraq war savior. The new savior is a czar who would "oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies." Um, I'd say it's highly unlikely that the administration is truly willing to relinquish absolute control over these two wars and, apparently, so do the three retired four-star generals who declined the offer to be czar. Slate writes:

Generals do not become generals by being demure. If some retired generals out there had a great idea about how to solve the mess in Iraq, and if the president offered them the authority to do what they wanted to do, few of them would hesitate to step up and take charge.

The point: a.) nobody has a clue how to solve this mess (it's way too late for a Hail Mary) and b.) no one will be given the authority to do so even if they could. I'm having deja-vu. It seems like just yesterday, David Petraeus, the most revered general in the United States Army, was being touted as Iraq's savior, the last hope. So, is the new czar going to be the last, last hope? Will there be a last, last, last hope?

Slate points out another problem -- Dick Cheney. Cheney still has too much influence and the generals don't want to be "outflanked" by him. And considering, earlier this month, the VP asserted the Al Qaeda/Saddam link, I think we want to keep his influence to a minimum. He stretches the truth sometimes.

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