Mars Only Knocks Once--Then He Blows the Building
By WILLIAM S. LIND
"Most wars move not at a steady pace but in a series of fits and starts. For about half a year, we have been enjoying something of a lull in the war in Iraq. Anything that reduces casualties is to be welcomed. But the bulletins' claims that the downward trend in violence will continue should be seen more as political vaporing than military analysis. Events begin to suggest that the lull is ending and Mars is in the ascendant.
To make a prognosis, we first must understand why we have enjoyed a period of relative quiet. There are four basic causes. In order of importance, they are......
The main story of the current lull is one of lost opportunity. Whether soon or in the more distant future, the war in Iraq will get hotter again. The lull gave us what might be our only opportunity to leave Iraq with some tailfeathers intact. Just as the Bush administration's blindness got us into this war, so its rigidity made us pass over our best chance to get out. Like opportunity, Mars only knocks once. Next time, he blows the building."