Midweek Roundup


Here's the text of Bernard Lewis's lecture on being awarded the Irving Kristol Award by the American Enterprise Institute on March 7.

Speaking of awards, the Bradley Foundation has announced that John Bolton, Martin Feldstein, and Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom have been awarded its $250,000 Bradley Prizes. The presentation will come at the Kennedy Center. I'm particularly pleased to see the Thernstroms on this list. Their writings on the dicey subject of race have been characterized by impeccable scholarship, careful fairness, and a shining commitment to racial equality. Naturally, they have been attacked viciously by the peddlers of various orthodoxies.

In the New York Post, retired Col. Gordon Cucullu presents an interesting analysis of why the surge is working. Important excerpt:

"Rules of engagement (ROE), highly criticized as being too restrictive and sometimes endangering our troops, have been "clarified." "There were unintended consequences with ROE for too long," [General David] Petraeus acknowledged. Because of what junior leaders perceived as too harsh punishment meted out to troops acting in the heat of battle, the ROE issued from the top commanders were second-guessed and made more restrictive by some on the ground. The end result was unnecessary–even harmful–restrictions placed on the troops in contact with the enemy.

I've made two things clear," Petraeus emphasized: "My ROE may not be modified with supplemental guidance lower down. And I've written a letter to all Coalition forces saying 'your chain-of-command will stay with you.' I think that solved the issue." I've had the feeling for some time that our military efforts in Iraq have been overlawyered. Lawyers don't win wars; warriors win wars. Like General Petraeus.