Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Could Stalin have stopped laughing?

In CounterPunch, Michael Neumann (author of the excellent book, The Case Against Israel) on why the US should "cut & run" sooner rather than later in Iraq:
In Iraq, the US has been defeated militarily, because it has not attained the most basic objectives it could possibly be said to have had. These were not silly high-school-civics objectives having to do with 'democracy' or 'hearts and minds'- could Stalin have stopped laughing if someone had told him he hadn't won Eastern Europe's hearts and minds? No, to attain any sort of military objective the US had to control Iraq. That means, oh, for instance, controlling the capital city, the major roads, really it means imposing authority over the whole country, as the allies did in Germany and the US in Japan. The US has not established military control over Iraq's capital, much less the whole country. That was its objective. The goal was not to eliminate the Iraqi army, never considered a threat, but to get Iraq under control so that, according to the administration, it would not threaten the US in the future--or, according to me, so the US could show itself capable of getting some country, somewhere, under control. The US failed to attain its objective, and not because of sunspot activity or an asteroid colliding with earth. It failed to obtain its objectives because there were people with guns in their hands who prevented the US from obtaining them.. I don't know whether these people won, but it is quite clear that the US lost. It did not attain those objectives and it won't.

So the US can't conquer a country it has been at work crippling for years, a country just barely big enough and sophisticated enough to make a credible opponent when in good shape. Leaving now, that would indeed be a case of cut and run. It's more than a military defeat, more than a political disaster, it's a catastrophe of historic proportions. So it's not surprising that Bush and Poodle are sure they have to stay there.

If it's a catastrophe to cut and run, why should we (or 'we') cut and run? How can a good argument for 'staying the course' be not good enough? Because we're *not* going to stay the course. Because we *are* going to cut and run, and sooner is much better than later. Later only makes the defeat even bigger.

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