Even the Prince of Darkness Begins to Display Doubts...
(Another chapter from the quickly-growing "Listen to the Thunder" File)
By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2005, 1:33pm PT  

When they even begin to lose Novak, that should tell you something.

This from his column yesterday --- headlined "Army's recruitment crisis deepens" --- in which he quoted from an Email exchange with a friend of his, Retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Krohn:

''Army recruiting is in a death spiral, through no fault of the Army,'' Krohn told me.
...
The Army's dilemma is maintaining an all-volunteer service when volunteering means going in harm's way in Iraq. The dilemma extends to national policy. How can the United States maintain its global credibility against the Islamists, if military ranks cannot be filled by volunteers and there is no public will for a draft?

Krohn's e-mail describes the problem: ''Consider the implications of being unable to find sufficient volunteers, as seen by our adversaries. Has the United States lost its will to survive? What's happened to the Great Satan when so few are willing to fight to defend the country? Surely bin Laden et al are making this argument, telling supporters victory is just around the corner if they are a bit more patient. And if they're successful, the energy sources in the Mideast may be within their grasp.''

A trial balloon being floated there concerning a Draft? Perhaps. Novak floats many balloons for his friends in the White House (just ask Valerie Plame).

And then, of course, Krohn's admission about what he fears most --- a loss of "energy sources in the Mideast" --- is rather revealing. Not that it's a war about Oil or anything.

But the bottom line is that even Novak seems to be seeing the light of day: George W. Bush's colossal failure in Iraq is the real problem...

Krohn's message goes on to say ''the recruiting problem is an unintended consequence of a prolonged war in Iraq, especially given the failure to find WMD.'' He therefore calls for a ''national consensus to address the root causes'' of the recruiting problem --- that is, the war in Iraq.
...
Krohn is a lifelong Republican who actively supported George W. Bush's presidential candidacy in 2000. He specified in his e-mail that ''I'm not now blaming'' President Bush or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for the situation. ''We have a problem that transcends politics,'' Krohn added.
...
That means the problem goes beyond mechanics of recruiting and the details of volunteer service and is found in the war itself.

Oh, do ya think, Bob? Not to go all Rush on ya to say "see, we told ya so", but we will say, where the fuck were you two years, 1600 dead troops and 100,000 dead Iraqis ago, Bob?

Anyway, we'll attempt to be generous as is our proclivity even in these dark days, and simply hope that is a signal that even Novak is joining the club of those many Republicans now taking baby-steps towards joining the rest of us back here in the Reality-Based Community.

UPDATE: Last weekend on CNN's Capitol Gang Novak said that his Pentagon sources feel that "it is imperative to get the hell out of there". He also goes on to say "I really believe that we've done all we can and it's time we go and hope things work out for the better."

Video clip in two flavors courtesy of David Edwards: Streaming Real Player, Windows Media