Lambro's two-week Iraq flip-flop: From "they deserve our continued military support" to "our patience is coming to an end"

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Over the span of two weeks, Washington Times chief political correspondent Donald Lambro has apparently reversed his support of continued U.S. military action in Iraq, without acknowledging that he has done so.

Over the span of two weeks, Washington Times chief political correspondent Donald Lambro has apparently reversed his support of continued U.S. military action in Iraq, without acknowledging that he has done so. In his March 23 "Commentary" column for the Times, Lambro wrote that the Iraqis "deserve our continued military support until they can defend themselves from the evil forces that attacked us on September 11, 2001." However, in his April 6 column, Lambro wrote: "The word has gone out to Baghdad to get your act together, form a unity government and out your factional differences behind you for now. ... America's bravest and best have given their lives so that the Iraqis would have the freedom to choose their own government. They had better act soon, for our patience is at an end."

From Lambro's March 23 column:

Mr. Bush's optimism is based on a vision of what Iraq will become: a self-governing, robust democracy aligned with the West against the forces of terror. It will not come about quickly or easily, but it will happen.

Where his critics see only doom and gloom, Mr. Bush sees progress in the growing strength and skills of Iraqi troops, in the hunger for a better life in the Iraqi people, and in the terrorists' inability to stop the movement to self-government.

A country can live with terrorism for a long time by combating it while it builds itself up as a nation. Look at Israel. The bombings did not wear down the Israeli people. They only became more determined to do whatever was necessary to secure their safety and freedom and preserve their nation.

That's what Iraqis are doing and that's why they deserve our continued military support until they can defend themselves from the evil forces that attacked us on September 11, 2001.

On April 6, Lambro wrote:

The Bush administration is stepping up the pressure on Iraq's political leaders to reach an agreement on a new government after four months of stalemate and bickering.

With U.S. polls showing eroding public support for the war in Iraq, and voters preparing to take out their frustrations and fears in the fall elections, President Bush is getting tougher with the Iraqis. The word has gone out to Baghdad to get your act together, form a unity government and put your factional differences behind you for now. America's patience is finite and the time is coming when you must either pull together or ... well, the U.S. isn't saying what comes next, not yet, but the administration's warnings are clear and chilling.

First came admonitions from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that in the end, the Iraqis were going to win this fight for their national survival and freedom or they would lose it. Yes, the U.S. would help and be there for them when needed, but they would have to fight the bulk of the battles on their own.

[...]

The time for diplomatic schmoozing was over. America's bravest and best have given their lives so that the Iraqis would have the freedom to choose their own government. They had better act soon, for our patience is coming to an end.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
The Washington Times
Person
Donald Lambro
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