A 'Gettysburg moment'

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 12:46 a.m.
On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee launched a "faith-based initiative" against the Union Army entrenched atop a line of small hills aptly known as Cemetery Ridge. Lee's efforts of the two previous days had all failed. The hated Yankees still held the high ground and - by any rational assessment - their position was impregnable.
Lee wasn't ready to "cut-and-run" just yet, however. He decided to abandon reason and place the issue in the hands of a supernatural being he referred to as God.
Lee gambled on one last, desperate roll of the dice - a massive "surge" against the Union center and that God would grant victory to the righteous. The attack that afternoon is known as "Pickett's Charge." It failed.
I hate to mention Robert E. Lee in the same breath as President Bush. Lee was on the wrong side of the Civil War, but he was a brilliant general. Bush is on the wrong side of everything. But Bush is having a "Gettysburg moment" in Iraq. Like Gen. Lee, he has abandoned reason and staked everything on an assault on the Shiite militia in the slums of Baghdad.
Will his surge lead to victory? Can anyone even tell me what "victory" in Iraq would look like now? One thing we know for certain is that 2007, like 1863, will be a year of killing.
Robert Raulerson, Gainesville

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