The war’s over! We won! Hurrah for our side–whatever side that happens to be!
At every stage of the Iraq and Afghan wars, when I was asked by an interviewer or talkshow host, what should be done, I always gave the same answer: Declare victory and get out, whether slow and deliberately as I thought best, or just run like frightened rats as we did in Vietnam. Kissinger got the Peace Prize for that act of cowardice and betrayal. It was the finest moment of a splendid career. Kissinger’s Metternich used astute diplomacy to save an empire on the ropes, while Kissinger used astute diplomacy to bring the most powerful country in the world to its knees.
When pressed to explain my position, often with some words such as– “Then wouldn’t all these men have died in vain?” –I would always point out that we were going to cut and run one time or another, either now or a year from now. Everyone killed in this war has in fact died “in vain”. One can only hope that in doing their duty they will not have lived in vain. The earlier we run, the fewer will have died in vain.
Former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley would disagree. Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Hadley declared an unequivocal victory. All our major goals have been achieved: “an Iraqi government that would not pursue weapons of mass destruction, invade its neighbors, or oppress its people.” If we really were serious about Iraq not having WMD’s, perhaps we should not have sold them to Saddam. Invading neighbors, it is true, is on the back burner for a while, but unless Christians don’t count, this government is already showing it can outdo the dictator in oppression, and if I were an unarmed Sunni, I’d be looking to buy some guns.
Of course we are not actually pulling out. We are leaving behind 50,000 soldiers, too few to pacify the country but perhaps too many for the merely advisory role they have been allegedly assigned. Perhaps they were to be used for target practice. Whether Mr. Hadley is a cynical lying imperialist or merely a fool, I do not know, but it is terrifying to think that the author of this piece WSJ was once advising a President of the United States.
If we were serious about carving out an actual empire in the Middle East–for our own benefit and not for the benefit of our gallant democratic ally etc etc– I might, grudgingly, be able to see the point of all this loss of life and waste of money, a waste that is bringing our economy down for a long time. But we are not. The American people does not have the stomach for empire. We can bomb some poor devils to hell and blow their country up and set off civil wars. But what we cannot and will not do is to impose a Pax Americana on the Middle East. We won’t even do it in Mexico and Central America.
Since we won’t fish, we have to cut bait. But let us have no more of Mr. Hadley’s lies about the the Iraqization of the war. In fact, Iraq is already being Vietnamized, that is, it is being taken over by its most violent elements. There is only one dilemma: the Norwegians have already given the African messiah a Nobel Peace Prize for continuing the wars. Can they really award him a second one for abandoning the poor Iraqis to their fate?