E-mail to a pro-Bush blogger

I wrote an e-mail to “Captain Ed” at Captain’s Quarters, one of those useful but off-puttingly triumphalist pro-Bush weblogs, about his rah-rah support for Bush’s policy in Iraq. VFR regulars don’t need to read this, as I’ve said it a hundred times before, for all the good it’s done.

Your argument in this blog entry is very weak. In World War II, to which you compare the Iraq situation, we utterly conquered and subjected Japan, ran the country for ten years, and imposed a new government on it. We’ve done nothing like that in Iraq. Please take in this basic fact: We are not in control of the country and we are not doing anything that will lead toward our getting control of the country; intermittantly striking at our foes is not a military strategy aimed at defeating the enemy. Nor would the construction of a new government represent victory in this war. Iraq’s new government can only survive as long as U.S. troops are there to maintain a modicum of order against the terror insurgency. There will be no self-sustaining government in Iraq, “democratic” or otherwise, until the insurgency is defeated. But we have no strategy in place to defeat the insurgency. As it looks now, we will have to stay there forever, even as our troops and innocent Iraqis are being mass murdered every week.

We have everything backwards. In WWII we defeated the enemy, then we set up a new government. In Iraq we are tryihg to set up a new government, without having first defeated the enemy.

Your analogy to the U.S. casualties deaths in the Pacific war is terribly off-base. Those men died wresting Japanese-held land from the Japanese and defeating the Japanese empire. Their deaths had a purpose. Our 1,000-plus dead in Iraq are being killed off by insurgents whom we have no strategy to defeat. In that sense Iraq is more like Vietnam than like WWII.

The inability of Bush supporters to see these obvious problems—their indestructible fantasy that we are in a re-play of World World II—is truly worrying.

I consistently supported Bush in toppling Hussein. But his post war policy has been a disaster. The simplistic arguments by Bush’s supporters such as yourself that we are moving toward victory are detached from reality.

I hope the insurgency will die down and that Iraq will be able to form a stable decent government. But if that happens, it will be as much as a result of sheer good luck as a result of anything that Bush is doing or articulating.

But if those good things don’t happen, and if all we manage to do is hold an election and then through the ongoing presence of our 130,000 troops keep the new Iraqi government afloat even as mass killings and kidnappings and beheadings continue on a daily basis; if, in other words, Iraq ends up as a super West Bank plus elections; then, based on everything we’ve heard from Bush and his supporters so far, they will call that horrible nightmare a “victory”a “great triumph of democracy over terrorism.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 30, 2004 03:49 PM | Send

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