The Iraq War Fiasco
Given this situation, is it possible to win in Iraq? After four years of war and three hundred billion dollars that have run up the American deficit, America, under the Bush Administration, has managed to alienate the Iraqi public and put Iran in a greater position to influence the outcome in Iraq than America. Those who support the present war in Iraq should reflect on President Eisenhower, who wisely chose to stay out of the middle east more than fifty years ago as France and Britain rushed to influence an Egyptian uprising and a looming conflict over the Suez Canal. Eisenhower realized, being a student of history, that military involvement in the middle east would probably result in a greater regional war that could spiral out of control and take with it American prestige in the world. History proved Eisenhower right and the British and French wrong. As for pundits and politicians who advocate some unrealistic democratic genesis in the middle east at the point of a gun, or compare the three thousand year old traditions of theistic tribal cultures in Iraq to recent European or Japanese cultures, they are either being dishonest or stupid or both. They certainly aren’t students of history.
Finally, what if Americans leave Iraq? Many of the same people who got America involved in the Iraq war, those who warned Americans about WMDs, or an al-Qaida Iraqi connection, or the necessity of building democracies in Iraq, are now warning Americans about the consequences of leaving Iraq. If America leaves Iraq, Iraq will become a haven for terrorists, the terrorists will come to the United States to kill Americans, etc., etc. The claims of the Bush administration are as hysterical and incompetent now as they were in March of 2003 when they got America into this mess. The question arises, given their track record, why would anyone believe or trust the judgment of anyone in the current Bush administration? They have been wrong about every pronouncement they have made concerning the war. Not only did they misunderstand the situation in the middle east, not only did they mismanage every aspect of prosecuting the Iraq war, not only have they left America’s ports, borders, and infrastructure vunerable, but they now propose to credibly tell Americans about what might happen if America withdraws from Iraq.
Iraq is a three thousand year old culture. Iraq has had a tradition of rejecting foreign influences like al-Qaida style terrorists in the past, and once Iraqis are again in control of their country, there is every reason to believe they will expel the foriegners. Iraq is not Afganistan. As for an all out civil war when Americans leave Iraq, it may happen. But there is no reason to believe it wouldn’t happen anyway. Americans staying in Iraq will only drive up our casualties with the same outcome once America leaves. The only difference being all the men and women who will die in the interim.
As for al-Qaida coming to the US to commit terrorist acts, Bin-Laden has declared time and time again that al-Qaida’s interest is to expel American influence in the middle east. In fact, it was Bin-Laden’s stated goal to coax America into an all out war in the middle east to polarize Muslim opinion and hatred against the US. It seems as if through the incompetence of the Bush Adminsitration, we have Bin-Laden exactly where he wants us.