Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What would be "victory" in Iraq?

I have been against the Iraq war since before it started, and the primary reason was--and still is--that it would end up greatly damaging America's interests and standing in the world. And I now defy anyone to explain how that has not happened.

What we have needed for a long time is some major help from other countries. While other countries have been involved in the war, England has been the only other country that has provided major amounts of troops, money, and other resources. The level of participation of other countries has diminished, and in some cases, evaporated. Moreover, of the members of the "coalition of the willing," the only one with the diplomatic resources to help has been England, and England has done nothing to help in that regard because Tony Blair has been Bush's bitch (a variation on Brit's calling Blair Bush's poodle).

The Bush administration has resolutely refused to allow any other countries to get involved, and now, even if they were asked, they likely would not respond. The Bush administration has been so arrogant and so rude to the international community that most countries are happy in effect to say "Hey, you got yourself into this, you can get yourself out of it." Up to this point, we have not solved the problems on our own, and if that continues, our interests and standing in the world will be further damaged.

If, on the other hand, some other country--say France, Germany, or Russia--steps in and ends up making a real difference, our interests and standing will still be damaged because one of those other countries will gain.

So, it might seem that we need to solve this ourselves. Well, that means that our military, our money, and our resources are going to continue to be tied up in Iraq. By that I mean we will not be able to apply our military, money, and resources to anything else. That means our own homeland security suffers. That means that we will not be able to control or influence events elsewhere around the world. That means that we will not be able to do things that could otherwise gain us friends and allies. All of this can harm us directly. Moreover, it can harm us indirectly because other countries can fill that vacuum and reap the benefits that we otherwise might have had.

For me, "victory" in Iraq has always been primarily about preserving American interests and standing, or, to put it another way, to keep from damaging America's interests and standing. I'm not talking about expanding those interests. I'm simply talking about preserving what we had. Now, unfortunately, it has become a question of trying to regain what we have lost.

UPDATE: I just heard on "Hardball" (6:49 p.m. CST) that Reuters is reporting that England is send 3000 troops home from Iraq by May.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ray said...

I'm torn. This war is becoming a bottomless pit. But, if we walk away the situation could be far worse than it was with Saddam in charge.

If we throw up our hands and allow France, Germany or Russia solve the problem, we lose not only face, but credibility. North Korea and Iran are laughing in our face now. Imagine if we admit defeat in Iraq.

I'm beginning to think the only way out is to form a coalition with moderate Arabs and Muslims and under our direction give them a stronger voice in how Iraq's problems will be solved.

1/11/2007 7:16 AM  
Blogger WCharles said...

I am also torn. I believe you and I have had similar discussions before.

There are no good answers, and the problem is that now almost every choice is a bad one.

There could very well come a time when we have to get out of the "bottomless pit" regardless of how it makes us look.

I like your idea of a coalition with moderate Arabs and Muslims. I am unsure that it is feasible given how the Bush administration has done things over the last four years. Very few people in the Arab world (including moderates) trust us, and, for their own personal political reasons, cannot afford to be seen siding with the U.S. Maybe I'm wrong about that--and I hope that I am

1/11/2007 8:59 AM  

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