Monday, December 04, 2006

A bit about Iraq

It's been awhile since I wrote about Iraq here. Partly, it's because I'm sick of the topic. Which is a good enough reason to write about it now. Rumsfeld is out. The Baker commission is recommending a drawdown without a timetable. Former Iraq hawks are revising their earlier positions on the war. John McCain and Joe Lieberman and George Bush are staying the course.

It strikes me that being "sick of the topic," puts me in the mainstream of public opinion for once. Americans have had enough. But, those of us who opposed the war in the first placed had warned, four years ago, that it would be so hard to win that, inevitably, we'd reach this point. We went to war anyway. That prewar debate we had was kind of a one time thing. Once we invaded, the path was set. It would either be the cakewalk we were promised or the quagmire that we have. It can't be undone.

As a war opponent, the McCain/Lieberman notion that we shoukd double down and send more troops and spend more money is offensive. You want more devoted to a cause that I didn't support in the first place? But the notion that a US pull out would end hostilities is a bit too wishful and is basically the dovish equivalent of the "cakewalk" promise.

We're stuck.


There's not an easy answer. There aren't even palatable answers. The Bush administration screwed America.

There are so many issues that should be more important than Iraq. But we're stuck. Bush sent us down a path that's all sacrifice and no reward.

The best I can hope is that we learn from this. Our failure in Viet Nam actually kept the US out of a lot of wars in the years that followed. I remember that our quick victory in the first Gulf War was considered by many to be a tonic for the pain that Viet Nam caused. Over time, and despite the warnings that we experienced in Somolia, that tonic managed to unleash a militant US foreign policy once again. The only good that might come from Iraq would be that our failure there will reign us in again.


At 12:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

I'm a stranger here but, since you're a reporter, I wonder if I could bounce something off you regarding Iraq and the Bush team?

Follow the money.

My personal hypothesis about why Iraq was invaded is based on these premises:

1) Bush is smarter than he looks.
2) Iraq invasion was motivated by desire to sieze oil assets.
3) Every so called "blunder" can be explained as a common-sense measure in furtherance of 2).

Just a couple of examples, the reputed blunders by Jerry Bremmer when as CPA head he ordered the purge of Batthe party members from the Iraqi civil service and disbanding of the Iraqi army.

If one accepts oil seizures as the motivator, as later implemented by the CPA's forced confiscatory deals between Iraq and U.S. oil companies, getting rid of anyone in the Iraqi government or military likely to put up a stink about the seizures makes pretty good sense.

One more radical comment: would it be possible to switch to a more eye-friendly theme? The white type on black makes my eyes hurt.

Best wishes.


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