I give you the middle two paragraphs of his letter. He is speaking of the phrase "cut and run" which is all over the media as an attack on those who want a policy to disentangle us from the violence and disgrace of Iraq.
""Cut and run" originated in the days of sailing ships. It meant to get under way in an emergency by cutting the anchor chain and running before the wind. In the instance of square-rigged ships, it also meant to cut the lines holding the furled sails, whereupon the sails would unfurl of their own weight and the ship could sail at once."
""Cut and run" has nothing whatsoever to do with cowardice, surrender or defeatism. It is, in fact, the intelligent thing to do when in dire straits. The captain who cuts and runs has a chance of saving his ship. The stubborn, rigid captain, who stands upon the bridge and defies the elements, will find his ship driven upon the rocks - and destroyed."
Thank you to Peter Browning for this explanation. Let's hope the attacked politicians will now jump in, and cut the ropes, re-spin the storm, and run with intelligent response.