Just got done reading about the The grand Iraq failure and felt I should respond. It's worth the read before you read my response (UPDATE: The above link has the full back and forth commentary between us, and is probably more interesting to read there instead of this one part out of context):
It's a disaster beyond compare... it's another vietnam... blah blah blah.
At least this time we actually attempted and succeeded at defeating the regular military there. The insurgent and terrorist jack-monkeys will continue to get slaughtered any time they pop their heads out of their holes. The anti-war folks will continue to repeat the enemy propaganda and the soldiers on the ground will continue to take out the garbage.
Every time some terrorist nails a big enough target the naysayers scream about the inevitable civil war... and every time it doesn't actually happen.
It's always WHAH WHAH WHAH Bush Bush Bush... but the situation in Iraq pre-dates him by many years. It should have been taken care of in 1991... and since it wasn't it should have been taken care of in 1998... and since it still wasn't we finally decided to take care of it in 2003 when the populous at large was in hawk-mode. WMDs was the media hype and it worked. Should have been taken care of a long time ago.
Enforcing the UN brokered ceasefire agreement? 1991.
Regime change? 1998.
These official US policies passed by congress and supported by the President at the time pre-date Bush.
Bush is the one that actually got to work on it in a realistic fashion.
Could it have been done in a better way? You bet your ass.
Doesn't mean it shouldn't have been done.
The insurgency and terrorist attacks in Iraq are betting on Americans to give up hope and pull out. Trying to convince the populous that it just isn't worth it, that it will only get uglier and uglier with no hope in sight. The mightiest army in the world is supposedly not enough to face a bunch of hapless fucks trying to instigate civil war and rebellion. And we're supposed to believe that we are powerless against them because we CHOOSE not to carpet bomb the areas they reside in. We're fighting this war PC style not because we have to but because we CHOOSE to. We are sacrificing lives so that innocent lives can be spared but we are supposed to believe that we have hit a level of desperation not seen since WWII? I'm sorry but I have to call 'bullshit'.
The only thing that will make us lose this war is lack of support. People whining about the loss of life being too great to justify the goals only help those that would make the new Iraq a pawn of anti-US ideologies as opposed to being a nation that adheres to the will of its people.
Yes the loss of life is tragic... on both sides. But the benefits of the goal outweigh the loss of life, even if we fail at the goal. Personally I don't think we will fail at that goal unless the naysayers get enough support that they undermine the mission. If you don't support the mission for the reasons Bush laid out, if you don't support the mission for the reasons Clinton laid out, and if you don't support the mission because you have some grand conspiracy figured out over US domination of world affairs, then at least support the mission so that our troops can finish the job and give at least some hope to that region and allow the Iraqis the chance to govern their own country for the first time, without totalitarian rule, in centuries. The iraqis deserve it and so do our troops.
Don't turn this into another Vietnam. It isn't yet and it won't be if people don't try to force a political end to a mission that is absolutely winnable. Every tragedy isn't the prelude to imminent defeat. Every point the enemy scores is not more important than the dozen we scored before it. Politicizing the conflict will only end in defeat but may help the opposition party gain some seats. In my honest opinion, that is worse than Bush's propaganda to get the public behind the war. There are valid complaints out there about how the war is being handled and has been handled. Run on that and get the war handled more effectively. But don't undermine the war when it is absolutely winnable. To do so only helps the enemy. Regime change in Iraq, maintaining security while a new government, representative of the Iraqi people, establishes itself, and putting to end the brutal rule of dictators and foreign governments in that region are worth fighting for... and these goals pre-dated Bush by years and years.
I didn't like Bush's rationale for most of this, I preferred Clinton's... but Bush is the one that was able to sell it to the populous. You, like me, may disagree on the way it was sold to the public mob who are unlikely to be able to find Iraq on a map, but I still consider it the right thing to do. The public, so easily convinced to begin a conflict, are easily swayed against a conflict once they see the carnage that results. Their opinion has zero relevance on right or wrong since their opinion is based on ignorance and propaganda... their only relevance is at the polls and who can push them one way or the other via campaign propaganda.
Regime change in Iraq and allowing the Iraqi people to establish and maintain their own government are worth the cost in treasure and lives, regardless of the opinion polls. It has been worth it, and necessary, long before Bush was anything other than Governor of Texas. The only thing that changed was that the public was hawkish enough to support it. A support that has waned, as it always does, when the bodies start mounting.
When people cry out that the situation is hopeless after a terrorist attack designed to cause that reaction, who are they helping?
The answer should be obvious.
When people cry out that the horror is too much to bear and that the greatest military on earth is powerless against desperate thugs and assassins, who are they helping?
Once again, the answer is obvious.
Iraq is no more on the verge of civil war than the US is on the verge of replacing the Constitution with Stalinism. Both scenarios are completely realistic in the minds of some people... but at least one scenario is recognized as a pathetic conspiracy theory of disgruntled radicals. Maybe one day the other will too.