A longtime emailer comes to Robbins defense:
While you can certainly read the Robbins thing the way you read it, and react to it exactly as you have, I think, given the fact that Robbins is writing against the war, he doesn’t want to see blood either. What he’s saying, perhaps, is that given the fact that we can’t lose, it is neither noble nor brave to start the fight at all. What we want a big kid to do is refrain from picking on a little kid. It is a given that Iraq can’t win, that it will be a 1000 – 1 massacre, like the last Gulf War. Or, if Saddam hides out in the city, maybe even worse. Can’t we find another way? In short, Robbins’ intent is to shame the U.S. out of picking a fight with an unworthy opponent. No war, no blood.
On the off chance other people subscribe to this view, let me say I think it’s batty. The “pick on somebody your own size” argument has absolutely no place in foreign policy when your national security is threatened, especially in the era of weapons of mass destruction. If one man can inflict the kind of damage that only whole armies could a generation ago, then it’s silly to say that America shouldn’t “pick” on that one man because it would make us a bully. We don’t owe it to anybody or anything to only fight wars we might lose because that would be a “fair fight.” Besides, I don’t remember Robbins being outraged when we “picked on” and “bullied” Milosevic or Aideed.