Glenn Reynolds (and Mohammed) and TM Lutas are both right: the USA has lost momentum in the war AND the USA is doing the best it can. There is no contradiction. The problem is not military but political. The Bush administration lacks sufficient domestic support to prosecute the war at the pace favored by those of us who think Syria and Iran should be next (and should have been next a long time ago). We lack the resources to do much more than we are doing.
There is plenty of blame to go around for this situation. Bush and his staff must be faulted for their chronic ineptitude at explaining his program to the American people, and for not doing much to compensate for the President’s known rhetorical weakness. He means well but he could have done much more to get the message out. The Democratic leadership must be faulted for its cynicism and intellectual corruption in lying about the war, and about its own previously held positions, in order to divide Americans and enhance its own political leverage at a time of national crisis. Congressional Republicans must be faulted for spending recklessly on all kinds of frivolous junk instead of concentrating on winning the war. (Why not cut some of that pork and instead allocate the funds to increased troop levels and more armored vehicles — so that we won’t have to ignore Iran because we’re already maxed out in Iraq? Those are the kinds of earmarks many of us could support.) And a plurality of American voters must be faulted for insisting on business as usual from our elected representatives instead of demanding bipartisan support to win the war. Too many of us have deluded ourselves into believing that our national problem with Islamic extremism will go away if we hunker down and stop poking the hornets’ nest. It won’t: the Islamists always interpret any hunkering down by us or our allies as weakness.
Time is not on our side. How many Pearl Harbors will it take for us to become serious about winning this war? The sooner we retake the initiative, the better.