Green Lantern Theory Espoused in Vietnam
“We’ll succeed,” Bush added, “unless we quit.”
Even more fun:
“You’ve got to remember, whatever the Democrats say, it’s Bush still calling the shots. He believes it’s a matter of political will. That’s what [Henry] Kissinger told him. And he’s going to stick with it,” a former senior administration official said. “He [Bush] is in a state of denial about Iraq. Nobody else is any more. But he is. But he knows he’s got less than a year, maybe six months, to make it work. If it fails, I expect the withdrawal process to begin next fall.”
I can’t wait to see Hitchens and Reynolds try and argue that Bush is on the right track. According to Hitchens, Bush is taking advice from a war criminal–and Hitchens is right.
According to Reynolds, it was all about democracy and the old realists like Kissinger are evil.
For those developing elaborate plans to salvage Iraq and appear “serious” here’s the problem. The President is convinced that by staying we are accomplishing something other than getting young men and women killed and maimed.
Bush sees this as a simple problem. It should be readily apparent that it is not. To him, staying is a plan and so giving lip service to the notion that he’s moving towards some sort of solution gives him time to, well, stay. He’s not listening to intellectuals or pundits or like anyone who knows anything about the Middle East. He doesn’t have to because in his mind, will is everything.
To get him to change that isn’t about presenting him some great plan for the future, it’s forcing him to get out. Sitting around and trying to be serious about how to responsibly get out of Iraq misses the entire point that the entire misadventure has been enabled by such thinking–including mine early on. It’s not serious to deny the reality of this administration–the reality that Bush and his administration is both deluded and obsessed with winning in Iraq. He’s not looking for a reasonable way out–he’s looking to stay one way or another. Giving him an excuse to stay, only allows this disaster to continue.
There are no good options left in Iraq. There is only tragedy. As Kevin Drum pointed out
Would this be an appalling strategy to follow? Of course it would. Appalling options are all that’s left to us in Iraq.
More to the point: is it worse than the other options at our disposal? Or, alternatively, is it slightly less bad? I’d guess the former: There’s not much question that Shiite forces are eventually going to wipe out the Sunni insurgency, but it’s probably slightly better for them to do it on their own instead of doing it with our active help, something that would alienate every Sunni in the Middle East. And don’t think that we might be able to keep this a secret. Even if our support for this strategy were never publicly acknowledged, there’s not much question that everyone in the region would understand perfectly well what was going on.
Such is the moral calculus we’re left with in Iraq. It’s not a battle between good and bad, it’s a battle between bad and worse.
For those who think that leaving the Sunnis to the mercy of the Shias is some sort of appalling action, you should have thought that out before John Negroponte appeared there. There’s a strange correlation between his presence in a region and death squads bent on killing the opposition. When George Bush decided to follow the advice of the people who turned Central America into multiple killing fields, he decided genocide was the way to solve this problem. He didn’t realize that of course, but he hasn’t realized what an idiotic mistake he has made by invading Iraq at all.
We didn’t stop him then. It’s too late now. It’s a matter of whether American troops are in the middle of that genocide helping it or just getting the hell out.