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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Permanent War? Dealing with Realities in Iraq and Washington

One of the most unfortunate myths pervading American culture, the American psyche, and the whole American weltanschauung -- and it's one for which we might as well go ahead and blame movie director Frank Capra -- is that in most situations the good guys win. Morality triumphs. The greedy and self-interested, the cruel and mean-spirited are defeated. Ultimately, or so the myth goes, the bad guys win some of the battles, but in the end the good guys win the wars.

Sadly, in the real world, good doesn't always win. Sometimes, good isn't even there. When it comes to Iraq, the left, the liberals, the progressives (for the sake of argument, the good guys) sometimes seem to have their heads in the clouds. That's true in regard to the crucial question of whether President Bush's stay-the-course strategy can succeed. The answer, unfortunately, is: Yes, it can.

The Bush administration's strategy in Iraq today, as in the invasion of 2003, is: Use military force to destroy the political infrastructure of the Iraqi state; shatter the old Iraqi armed forces; eliminate Iraq as a determined foe of U.S. hegemony in the oil-rich Persian Gulf; build on the wreckage of the old Iraq a new state beholden to the U.S.; create a new political class willing to be subservient to our interests in the region; and use that new Iraq as a base for further expansion.

To achieve all that, the President is determined to keep as much military power as he can in Iraq for as long as it takes, while recruiting, training, funding, and supervising a ruthless Iraqi police and security force that will gradually allow the American military to reduce their "footprint" in the country without entirely leaving. The endgame, as he and his advisors imagine it, would result in a permanent U.S. military presence in the country, including permanent bases and basing rights, and a predominant position for U.S. business and oil interests.
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Permanent War? Dealing with Realities in Iraq and Washington

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