Monday, September 10, 2007

Administration "expert" slices and dices Iraq

While serving on the assessment team, Kilcullen drew up a list of core American interests in Iraq, which he later gave to senior officials at the White House and the State Department. In order of priority, the list contained the following items:

  • maintain the flow of oil and gas in the region;
  • prevent the establishment of an Al Qaeda safe haven in Iraq;
  • contain Iranian influence; prevent a regional war;
  • prevent a humanitarian catastrophe on the scale of Rwanda; and
  • restore American credibility in the region and in the world (which Kilcullen called “the master interest,”
and which doing all the others would go a long way toward achieving). Some interests, he acknowledged to me, might be incompatible: for example, undermining both Sunni-led Al Qaeda and Shiite Iran.(*bullets mine)

I don't know about you, but I believe that all these "items" were created by Bush/Cheney when they chose to wage an unnessessary war of choice.

I'm fully expecting an attack on Iran before the end of the month, one that we won't be able to stop, because the Senate just unanimously passed a resolution that says that Iran is already waging war against us in Iraq. They've given Bush/Cheney the "advance to Go, collect $200.00, and get out of jail free" card.

Can we expect Duh-Bya to do anything other than take advantage of whatever the Dem congress gives him - and unanimously, fer cryin' out loud?

A more honest argument says that it’s simply not a core American interest to prevent Iraqis from being massacred: the result of a withdrawal may be a humanitarian tragedy but a strategic footnote. (Obama’s statement implied as much.) This viewpoint has recently brought together hard-nosed realists, antiwar progressives, and isolationist conservatives. Even in narrow strategic terms, though, American interests would be harmed by large-scale slaughter in Iraq. The spectacle, televised around the world, would deepen the feeling that America is indifferent to human, especially Muslim, life. It would brand the U.S. as untrustworthy to potential allies and feckless to potential enemies. And it would destroy what’s left of American prestige. Toby Dodge, an Iraq expert at Queen Mary College of the University of London, who also served on the strategic-assessment team, told me, “What has defeated America in Iraq, apart from the failure of the state and its own incompetence, are a bunch of radicals with nothing more sophisticated than reëngineered artillery shells and rocket-propelled grenades. That is a loss of cataclysmic proportions.”

I you're thinking in narrow strategic terms, perhaps there's good reason for the world to be feeling that America is indifferent to human, especially Muslim, life. By our own actions it is arguable that the U.S. IS untrustworthy to potential allies and IS feckless to potential enemies. Can American prestige BE restored by remaining in the killing fields, or will we go down the same road that the USSR took to oblivion and bankruptcy?

HOW MANY MORE HUMAN LIVES WILL IT TAKE to restore American prestige?

I mean really - how many? Another thousand, a couple of thousand, a hundred thousand?

America threw away 50,000 american military lives after they KNEW Vietnam was unwinnable; and who really knows how many Vietnamese were needlessly slaughtered?

How many more? Who's son or daughter will be shot or blown up because the United States cares more about it's Prestige than it's children? How many Iraqis will die before it's the world has enough shock and awe?

What the heck are we doing there?

The full New Yorker article, discussing our (slim) options in Iraq is here


Blogger Cardozo said...

The situation is maddening. The destruction we caused with the invasion is almost unfathomable.

I am tempted to believe that our presence cannot possibly do more good than harm...BUT what happens if the left calls from withdrawal and a genocide does, in fact, occur???

Where are the new ideas? Why don't I know where the Democrats stand on "what to do next?"

3:24 PM, September 11, 2007  

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