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By David Podvin
The American conquest of Iraq has become an ever-worsening nightmare for the occupying force. Soon, even the corporate media’s master fabulists will be unable to misrepresent the failure as being a success. Although there is much drama yet to occur, the final chapter of this immorality play was written well before it began. In the end, our empire will have suffered a humiliating defeat, and viewed from the patriotic perspective that will be a very good thing.
While it is tragic that many more American soldiers will die in vain, courtesy of George W. Bush, the future would be infinitely worse had the war gone according to plan. If the United States military had successfully pacified the Iraqis, thereby facilitating an occupation that was relatively easy for America, Iraq would have been just the first domino to fall. Iran would have toppled next, and then Kazakhstan, and then anywhere else Islam and petroleum intersect to provide the pretext for corporate plunder.
That Iraq has become a quagmire should be viewed as a painful yet welcome development by those Americans who do not want our country to be the national equivalent of the Hell’s Angels. Periodically throughout our history, the American majority has had to relearn the importance of what Dr. Phil and international law books term “boundaries”. Having again stormed into a smaller nation that posed no threat, Americans will now pay the excruciating price of having forgotten our most recent lesson in humility.
Three decades have passed since the United States endured a military comeuppance at the hands of poorly armed but highly motivated Vietnamese peasants. For a while, the shame of the Vietnam debacle acted as a deterrent whenever our nation contemplated bullying others. However, as that recollection eroded with time, Americans reverted to embracing the old standard that might makes right. The Bush administration currently has the consent of the governed as it traverses the globe overthrowing democracies in the name of freedom and killing defenseless people for the stated purpose of saving them.
The invasion of Iraq was classic Soviet-style hegemony, an indefensible crime camouflaged by a blizzard of lies. Despite what red state moralists contend, invading a defenseless country, raping its people, committing mass murder, and then looting the place is not praiseworthy in the commonly accepted definition of the term. It is, in fact, a debasement of Americanism. Given the current zeitgeist of the United States, the Bush crusade to vanquish evildoers by emulating them will end only after the agony of continuing becomes unbearable.
America has not reached that pain threshold, but we will. Members of the Iraqi resistance now outnumber U.S. troops, and the Iraqis are intensifying the violent campaign to regain control of their country. They cannot compete with our military’s technological brilliance, but even so they are now matching the American army eye for eye and tooth for tooth and slaughter for slaughter. As in Vietnam, the motivation of defending the home turf is a great equalizer, and so the cost to the United States in money and blood is escalating daily.
Policy makers in Washington pledge that the upcoming Iraqi elections will calm the situation, but they are lying again. The vaunted democratization of Iraq is a pathetic joke in which polling places are being hidden so that they are inaccessible to terrorists. Of course, hiding polling places also makes them inaccessible to voters. That logistical problem is mitigated somewhat by the fact that the election will be an American-style referendum in which the results are preordained.
Bush has already decided who will govern, but unlike his opponents in the United States, the Iraqi opposition will not yield merely because he is adamant. The Iraqis have adopted the Vietnamese approach, which is to prosecute a war of attrition. Their implicit ultimatum to the American people is crystal clear: you will either have to kill us all or we will force you out of our country.
The rational way to resolve this mess is to leave a place where we never should have gone, but this is not a viable option for the rapacious degenerates who run the United States unless they can take that beautiful Iraqi petroleum with them. From the perspective of Bible believing Republicans, there is something morally amiss about starting a war for the purpose of plundering Iraq, killing all those innocent civilians, and then (here’s the immoral part) leaving without the oil. It just isn’t what they believe Jesus would do.
Therefore, we will not be vacating Iraq anytime soon. When we ultimately do, it won’t be because the mission has been accomplished, or because we have finally realized that picking on weaker people is wrong. If history is an accurate guide, the United States will relent only after the humiliation of being out toughed by dark skinned Third Worlders becomes so intolerable that America’s ruling elite is facing a popular uprising at home.
In the meantime, the one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians who have been murdered by their liberators will dramatically increase in numbers, as will the thousand-plus Americans who have already died fighting for one of the least worthy causes humans ever conceived. Military contractors will get much richer, as will oil conglomerates, and the American taxpayers will subsidize it all.
The world’s only superpower (the peace-loving democracy with military bases in more than one hundred countries) has gone a bridge too far. There is no possible way to achieve victory in Iraq, and there never was. Having made an ill motivated, ill planned excursion into the House of Pain, America now needs a leader who possesses the maturity to choose between options that are bad and worse.
Due to the mental sloth of our populace, the United States will have George W. Bush calling the shots, thereby insuring that maturity will never enter into the decision-making process. And so, America will stay in Iraq until the bitter end, at which point there will be an ignominious retreat.
When the French military was routed at Waterloo, it ostensibly represented a crushing blow for France. But despite the harrowing loss of national pride, Napoleon’s demise was a liberating moment for his subjects. No longer did they have to sacrifice their children needlessly, nor be complicit in a megalomaniac’s quest for world domination. In retrospect, the grueling defeat turned out to be a godsend for the French.
The United States is going to experience a similar mixed blessing in Iraq. Along with the tragedy of lost American lives and dignity will come the collective realization that there are limits to tormenting other nations, even when brandishing a military juggernaut. That hard-earned recognition will make America a better country and the world a safer place, at least until the rancid memories of botched conquest dissipate yet again.
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