This article was last modified on January 3, 2007.

On The Troop Surge in Iraq

The following letter was mailed to the Post-Crescent on January 3, 2007. It was published January 5th with the word “psychosis” replaced by the word “faith”, without my consent.


One needs a special kind of psychosis to be William Kristol, praising Bush’s call for a troop surge as courageous leadership.

If Aristotle’s virtue ethics taught me anything, there is a stark difference between courage and foolishness. Courage is facing improbable odds to achieve a moral good. Foolishness is gambling thousands of lives against the advice of informed military advisers, the Baker-Hamilton Commission, the Iraqi people and the majority of Americans. Which does this seem more likely to be?

Furthermore, Bush’s role as “leader” seems to be by title only. A Military Times poll found only 35% of active-duty soldiers approve of Bush’s war handling. The Washington Post polled Americans and found 80% oppose Bush’s war plans. And the President’s approval ratings consistently sit below the 40% range. I wonder: what good is being the leader if no one wants to follow?

Also try another article under Letters to ...
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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