The Corner

Austin Bay, Prophet

Austin Bay is both a colonel in the Army Reserve and a Columbia Ph.D in English literature — a true Renaissance man and a supporter of the Iraq war before and after. (He was called to serve in Iraq in 2004.) He has an eye-opening column today about the stakes in Iraq during which he quotes a passage from a December 2002 piece he wrote for the Weekly Standard:

“Pity Gen. Tommy Franks or, for that matter, any American military commander tasked with overseeing a post-Saddam Baghdad. For in that amorphous, dicey phase the Pentagon calls ‘war termination’ … U.S. and allied forces liberating Iraq will attempt — more or less simultaneously — to end combat operations, cork public passions, disarm Iraqi battalions, bury the dead, generate electricity, pump potable water, bring law out of embittering lawlessness, empty jails of political prisoners, pack jails with criminals, turn armed partisans into peaceful citizens, re-arm local cops who were once enemy infantry, shoot terrorists, thwart chiselers, carpetbaggers and black-marketeers, fix sewers, feed refugees, patch potholes and get trash trucks rolling, and accomplish all this under the lidless gaze of Peter Jennings and Al-Jazeera.”