That light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train
I've been reading a lot of stuff on Iraq lately, both opinion and factual reports, and arguing with some blockheads over at Canadian Cynic in the comment threads about a few things related to operation sandbox meatgrinder aka the war in Iraq.
First we have people like Bill Kristol, the man who was the brains behind Dan Quayle, saying stupid things and then we have the President saying stupid things.
"First of all, I understand why the American people are -- you know, they're tired of the war. People are -- there's war fatigue in America. It's affecting our psychology. I've said this before. I understand that. This is an ugly war. It's a war in which an enemy will kill
innocent men, women and children in order to achieve a political objective.
It doesn't surprise me that there is deep concern amongst our people. "
He did say one thing I agree with:
"We're at the beginning stages of a great ideological conflict between those who yearn for peace and those who want their children to grow up in a normal, decent society -- and radicals and extremists who want to impose their dark vision on people throughout the world. "However, I think the radicals and extremists are led by Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, James Dobson, Pat Robertson and especially George W. Bush and others of their ilk who seem determined to destroy the United States by breaking it on the anvil of war. The administration has consistently abused and expanded its powers, ignored and willfully violated the constitutions and the law of the land in order to erode civil liberties and checks and balances on executive power. This is not a republican presidency any more, it is an imperial executive that rules by presidential edict on foreign policy and since the change in congress last fall, more and more by presidential veto on domestic policy.
We keep hearing from the Bushiviks that victory is at hand, that the insurgency is in its last throes. Frankly, the U.S. has turned the corner so many times in Iraq, it has come a full circle back to where it started. Iraq is broken, and will remain broken for the foreseeable future, possibly for the rest of my lifetime. There is every chance it will drag the rest of the region down into the flames of a tripartate civil war with it.
The United States will never win in Iraq -- insurgents with enough munitions and a certain level of support among the populace ALWAYS win eventually. And everytime there is an airstrike on the wrong house, or a U.S. soldier runs over a kid in the street or kicks in the door of the wrong family home in the middle of the night, it builds more support for the insurgents.
I'm very much inclined to say "You broke, it you bought it" and take the position that the United States has a responsibility to stay in Iraq until stability is restored and the insurgent threat is ended. If they had taken this tack in Vietnam, they would still be there and still be fighting the Viet Cong and the United States would look something like Russia right now, having bankrupted itself physically and morally in a pointless war and occupation. The insurgents are not going to go away and having an outside power that has been an enemy for last three decades there occupying the country will not hasten the process.
The U.S. is the bull in the china shop and at some point after the first set of china get smashed, its better to lead the bull out of the shop and back into its stall, rather than have it mangle the few remaining display cases and shit all over the floor while you look for your wallet to pay for the damage.
George W. and Bill Kristol and the other warmongers can talk all they like about their duty to Iraq and ensuring the sacrifices of troops have not been made in vain, but they already abnegated their responsibility by invading the place for no good reason in the first place. The Iraqi government's response to the whole question has been to keep fighting amongst itself over who gets the oil money. As far as the withdrawal of U.S. troops is concerned, the attitude of some is "here's your hat -- oh, leaving so soon?" while others would like them to get out of the way so they can just fight their civil war and get it over with.
After all that has gone on, it would be nice to see a positive ending, nice to think that all this death lead to something good instead of just more death. I'd love to see the United States win in Iraq, install an independent, western-friendly, representative, egalitarian, secular democratic government. I'd also love to do body shots off of Carmen Electra's cleavage between sets at my all star rock band's sell-out show at the Budokkan, but I've accepted the fact that neither of these things is going to happen.
There is not going to be a happy ending to this and the author of this entire story is George W. Bush. No one forced his hand, no gun was put to his head. He and his administration lied and cheated and cajoled and manipulated the United States into this war. Thousands have died and tens of thousands of Iraqis and others in the region have been inspired to hate the United States more than they ever did before. Meaning more terrorism, more repressive security measures, less democracy and freedom both in Iraq and in the United States and the rest of the world.
Osama Bin Laden (remember him? Whatever happenned to that guy?) handed George W. Bush the magic lamp on Sept. 11, 2001, and Dubya has been rubbing it for all he's worth. The Djinn is out of the bottle and as always happens with these things, George's three wishes (1. An excuse to seize unlimited power. 2. A way to get re-elected. 3. An excuse to invade Iraq) have backfired on America.
Somehow, someone needs to convince him there is no pony under the pile of horseshit, that it is no longer about winning, but about limiting the damage that is done. The neo-con's baby is dead, let's at least try to save the mother. Iraq is screwed for a least the next generation, probably more. Unless somebody grabs the wheel and soon, so is the United States.