Four years ago, the President gave this brief address to the nation. Since then, Saddam Hussein is dead, 3000+ Americans are dead, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, two million Iraqis have fled their country, including many who had supported the US military mission but who are now not getting the support they need.
Many of the American wounded might not have survived 25 or even 10 years ago. Some, especially early on, were provided inadequate protection, and now find that, once they leave the hospital, are given inadequate care. “Support the troops”, indeed.
John McCain was right about those non-binding resolutions the Democrats tried to pass earlier this year: it’s immoral to continue to, on one hand, fund the war and on the other hand, suggest the war is wrong. The “surge” will work until it’s over, and whether or not we set a “timetable for withdrawal” or not, the forces of instability will wait it out, change tactics or change venues. Hey, don’t believe me; read what wide-eyed liberals such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, National security adviser to President Carter; Richard Clarke, Counterterrorism czar from 1992 to 2003; Gen. Tony McPeak (retired), Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War; and Bob Graham, Former chair, Senate Intelligence Committee have to say.
I had predicted four years ago that a partitioned Iraq would exist one year from now. Kurdistan exists now in almost every way (flag, currency, head of state) right now, and has since the US and UK enforced the no-fly zones 15 or 16 years ago. It seems that perhaps trying to force together an Iraq initially created by the British after World War I, insensitive to tribal concerns (see also: the colonial powers in Africa), that a different way ought to be considered. Yes, I know about the concerns of Turkey and other countries in the region. The Kurds may be the largest group of people without a country to call its own, and trying to keep an imposed country together without force may not be practical (see also: Yugoslavia), maybe it’s time to deal with the reality.
Incidentally, I don’t think that the wisdom of initial opposition to this war should be shelved with a “yeah, but what would they do NOW?” retort. Criticism of this war before the war started, expressed by Barack Obama and Dennis Kucinich, and no other Democrat or Republican running for President – if there’s anyone else, please let me know – shows at least a certain foresight that their colleagues lacked, which may bode well for the future.