Tuesday, February 26, 2008
  All the way to hell.

Comrade McCain today, clarifying his earlier remark about 100 years of war in Iraq: "I was asked in a town hall meeting back in Florida, how long would we have a presence in Iraq? My friends, the war will be over soon, the war for all intents and purposes although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years, but it will be handled by the Iraqis, not by us, and then we decide what kind of security arrangement we want to have with the Iraqis."

Okay, Comrade John, let's think about this.

There wasn't an insurgency under Saddam. He "handled" all attempts in that direction by his own methods.

And how does any government successfully "handle" an insurgency? How did our own government "handle" a secession, for instance? Lincoln "handled" the perfectly legal secession of Southern states by killing 600,000 Americans.

Makes Saddam's gassing of Kurds look minor by comparison.

So, Comrade John, if you imagine that this insurgency will somehow continue for 100 years, just how do you think that will happen? (And I use the word think in a shamefully inappropriate way.) If the Iraqi government acts like our "greatest President", it will kill all the Sunnis and end the insurrection quickly. Even if it acts more moderately and gently, like Saddam, it will end the insurrection in a couple of years.

Contrarily, if the Iraqi government fails to "handle", the insurgency will soon win, and it will become the government of Iraq. Again.

If the Iraqi government is "handling", our troops will have to be part of the operation. And if it's not "handling", our troops will have to jump in and help.

Have to? Yep. If they just stand by and watch either situation, our politicians will quite properly ask why we're just standing by and watching.

And when they participate they will be seen (by adversaries) as assisting with ethnic cleansing, or helping to set up a dictatorship, depending on the outcome.

In either case the insurgency will be over in a couple of years at most, not 100 years.

In either case our presence will accomplish only two things: bankrupt America and destroy our military.

Yes, pulling out now will make us look weak for a little while. But if we don't pull out now, we will continue to be concretely and objectively weak, and the enemy will know it.

= = = = =

Later thought: Actually there is a situation where the insurgency goes on and on. If our troops act like UN peacekeepers, running around to damp down brushfires, the various sides can keep fighting with no decisive victories and no severe losses. No side will lose its appetite for fighting, and Iraq will remain in chaos until somebody else (eg Persia) finally invades and bombs the place down to bedrock. Unfortunately this seems to be exactly what Comrade McCain envisions.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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