Monday, November 20, 2006

Depends on What Your Definition of "Succeed" Is

Recently, when asked if there were lessons about our situation in Iraq to be learned from the Vietnam War, Bush once again embarrassed us all by saying that "we will succeed unless we quit."

What's going on in Iraq is not a war, and it's certainly not something that we can win. It would be so much simpler if it was a war, because we could just complete the genocide and leave... or more realistically, we could finish the genocide and pave the land with oil pumps. Obviously, Bush would never be allowed to get away with this, so what are his goals? What would a "clear military victory" be? Kissenger interprets it as "an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control," which he doesn't believe is possible. Someone will need to explain to me how an independent government fitting that description could be brought about by any amount of military force.

Republican senator John McCain says that we're "fighting and dying for a failed policy", but this is wrong. We're fighting and dying for absolutely nothing. There isn't a plan. There isn't even a goal. If there was, we'd have to weigh whether it was worth the losses that we are suffering to eventually achieve it, but there isn't. We've passed the "quit while you're ahead" point, but we can still cut our losses. We can continue sending our brothers, sisters, parents and children to die while we search for a reason to do so, or we can admit our mistake and leave before more of us die. That is the lesson we should have learned from the Vietnam War.

No comments: