HH: Max Boot, among others, John Burns of the New York Times has remarked that a Tet-like offensive by al Qaeda and other elements of the insurgency is to be expected coming up. Is America ready for that? Would it have the same effect that January, ’68 had on the Vietnam war, if in fact, in the march up to the September report by General Petraeus, we see a huge countersurge by the enemy?
MB: That’s a very good question, and I think it’s very hard to anticipate what the response would be. I think a lot of it really depends on the specifics, and how things play out. I mean, obviously, if you have squads of insurgents roaming around the Green Zone, comparable to the VietCong invading the U.S. Embassy compound in 1968 in Saigon, that would be a catastrophic public relations hit. So naturally, you anticipate that that’s exactly what the insurgents want to do. But on the other hand, you know, our soldiers know that as well, and are going to be well-prepared for it. So it’s hard to know how things will play out, but there is no question that because Congress has laid out these 18 benchmarks that we have to meet, that basically creates a roadmap for the insurgents, telling them what they have to do in order to prevent us from meeting those benchmarks, and therefore to prevent us from appearing successful by the criteria set down by Congress.
I will try most broadcast days between now and the report from general Petraeus in September to bring to the program and then to the blog at least one interview with a serious analyst of the war.
Why? Because at least one outlet in all of media ought to do so.
Previous interviews in this series:
I will of course continue to ask regular contributors like Mark Steyn and Christopher Hitchens for their assessment on the war, though I don’t think we’ll be in a hurry to inquire after the opinions of the staff at The New Republic, committed as they all are by association and silence to the credibility-destroying Private Beauchamp. They all must know by now, but none have penned even a word about the latest injury to the reputation of the venerable magazine.
UPDATE: “Beauchamp Retracts,” is up at the WeeklyStandard.com.
To be followed by “Sullivan Retracts” and “Foer Resigns?”