The End in Iraq

And so it ends. We are formally out of Iraq — well, except for 50,000 combat troops, rebranded as support and training — and we await the unfolding of the legacy of our actions there.

Sic Semper Tyrannis has an essay by an Army War College advisor and Iraq veteran, Adam Silverman, on what we achieved. To summarize: nothing positive. No end to internal conflict. No stable government, recognized by all. Not even enough electric power to run the pumps and air conditioners in this hot, arid country. That’s seven years after the war. We did manage to get 4,000 Americans killed, more than were killed in 9/11. We also got over 100 thousand Iraqis killed (some would say many times that).

Compare that to the status of Germany and Japan in 1952, seven years after WWII. They had been pounded flat (unlike Iraq, where we deliberately avoided destroying infrastructure). Germany had been invaded and fought over, and Japan had been fire-bombed and atom-bombed. We occupied those countries, rebuilt their economies and governments, and by 1952 they were both sovereign powers, with effective governments and stable economies. Germany was strong enough to help us stand up to the Soviet Union in Europe. Japan provided support for operations in Korea. Does anyone expect anything similar here? People might claim that Japan and Germany were special cases, with literate populaces driven by The…er…Shinto…Ethic. They might claim that the citizens of Iraq — despite having run their own country quite well from before the time that North Europeans were still painting their bodies blue — don’t have the democratic tradition, are not ready for democracy, and that we shouldn’t expect too much of them. If that’s so, then why did we claim that our goal was democracy, once we knew the WMD excuse was a lie?

As far as national goals are concerned, the big winner in Iraq appears to be Iran. Imagine what history would have been like if West Germany had joined the Warsaw Pact, if Japan had allied with the PRC. Unlike Japan and Germany, our legacy won’t be peace, and friendly, reliable, allies. Our legacy in the Middle East and SW Asia will be hatred and distrust from most of the people living there, extension of Iranian power, destabilization of Afghanistan and Pakistan through willful neglect, followed by inept re-intervention, and encouragement of anti-US terrorist groups. No-one is safer as a result of our actions. Except the dead.

So yes, this war — begun with a lie, concluded with incompetence, resulting in nothing but loss for us, and trouble for our grandchildren — is officially over, a failure from end to end. The carnage will continue, but we can now smugly claim that it’s the Iraqis fault.


One Response to “The End in Iraq”

  1. I Owe Paul Kennedy An Apology | FoundOnWeb Says:

    […] Iraq on the basis of lies by the President and executive branch. Destroying their government, with no plan for replacement. In effect, taking all those actions that Kennedy would say result in long term […]

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