Tuesday, August 08, 2006

NO SUBSTITUTE FOR VICTORY. We must be getting close to pulling out of Iraq: the New York Post today stacked up two articles explaining that the situation is hopeless, and that this is all the Iraqis’ fault.

John Podhoretz has inherited his father’s annoying habit of numerating wars that do not exist. Podhoretz fils explains that “This is the Third Iraq War, and the most striking aspect of it is that it doesn’t involve us.” The American troops currently stationed there might think differently, but only because they’re not seeing the big picture: Podhoretz says this Third Iraq War, in which we are not involved, “may be the one we’re going to lose.” Gasp, a paradox! Clearly, these/this Iraqi war(s) exist(s) on such an exalted philosophical plane that your average dogface couldn’t be expected to understand.

Podhoretz fully acknowledges a coming civil war in Iraq, but judges that it has nothing to do with us invading the country, bombing the shit out of it, and substituting for its corrupt but functional leadership a plywood shack of pseudo-governance. No, it’s only happening because the Sunnis are “crazy.” The evidence is that “they seem determined to start a civil war they can only lose.” The idea that desperate men in desperate circumstances might resort to extreme measures appears not to have occurred to Podhoretz, who, despite his deep involvement in World Wars II-IV and Iraq Wars I-III, has nonetheless managed to keep his cool.

Ultimately the message is that, “If the Sunnis and the Shiites really go at it… if Iraq wants to commit suicide in this manner,” it’s not our fault or even our concern: “the answer ultimately lies with the Iraqi people.” So the country may descend into even more hellish violence and misery – but Mission Accomplished, because we won Iraq Wars I and II at least, and two out of three ain’t bad!

Below Podhoretz, Rich Lowry, a war fan from way back and author of National Review’s now-legendary WE’RE WINNING cover story, now chides his Commander-in-Chief for ever thinking he could democratize these bloody wogs in the first place: “The problem with Bush’s freedom rhetoric is that it appears to be not true.” Now you tell us!

According to Lowry, Middle Easterners aren’t ready for freedom or democracy – it has something to do with “the Fall” of Adam and Eve, whose sin affected Arabs much more than it did us white people. But though Bush is dead wrong, Lowry says, “this doesn’t mean that Bush should abandon the liberalizing thrust of his foreign policy.”

Why not? Why persist in such a course if you don’t believe it can work? Shh, don’t disturb the analysis! Properly constructed and given time, it will so confuse the electorate that they will not realize the ignominy of our failure and the foolhardiness of our plan. Maybe we’ll even have our troops march backwards out of Iraq, so it won’t look like withdrawal. By the time people figure out what’s happened, we’ll be at war with Syria and/or Iran.

That will be a true victory – and, for this lot, the only kind that counts.

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