U.S. in Mesopotamia—a collection

Since America’s military involvement in Iraq officially ended yesterday, six years and three months after it began, and with over 4,000 U.S. servicemen dead and I don’t know how many permanently injured, this might be a good time to post my collection of VFR entries and articles on the Iraq invasion, occupation, and democratization policy. The below comes from the Word document “VFR articles arranged by topic,” which is posted on the sidebar, as this entry will also be. It is not complete, but simply represents what I happen to have collected so far.

Iraq war debate

Rethinking the Bush doctrine [September 2002, praising Christopher Ruddy article that thoughtfully challenged Bush’s planned war]
I’m looking through you, but I’ve been looking through you for 4 1/2 years, and I’m so tired of this [April 2008, new book on the war recapitulates the false pro-war arguments.]
I was right about Iraq [January 19, 2008, showing how the outcome perfectly matches what I wrote in my FrontPage article in April 2004, “The Dream of Iraqi Democratization vs. the Reality of Iraqi Violence.”]

Iraq and Democratization

Facing the Unpleasant Reality [October 2002. I list the bad consequences to America of invading Iraq, including flood of refugees, while saying that war seems necessary and unavoidable.]
VFR, March 6, 2003: For invasion, against democratization
The dangers of “democratization”—March 6, 2003
Flash to neocons (and America): Freedom is not government (April 10, 2003)
Doonesbury has VFR view of Iraq
Wounded GIs
The ambiguous thing that America now is [How Iraq involvement takes Americans’ best qualities, and puts them at service of insane ideology.]
How democratization of the Moslem world could make jihadists more dangerous
Bush puts the burden on us instead of the Palestinians: Or, how Bush’s messianism leads to moral relativism [Feb 2005: summing up both Bush’s disastrous “peace process” and his “democracy” policy]
Cheney calls democratism critics “racist” [with my indignant questions that Rush Limbaugh should have asked.]
Our main goal in Iraq remains an unsustainable “democracy,” not victory
America and the Method of Bush: Why do we simply assume that democratization will be a good thing?
J. Podhoretz admits Iraq policy was based on a cockeyed belief [December ‘06] [important article, he admits the falsity of thinking political change would lead to military victory]
McCain’s utopian advisors [tying together many things in one paragraph: the belief that McCain can persuade conservatives that he is a conservative, just by calling himself one. This connects with nominalism all kinds of liberal utopian beliefs, such as that Islam can adopt democracy.]
How Yon’s “hopeful” message on Iraq wins us with honest trifles, to betray us in deepest consequence [Yon charges up the neocons with the arguments that have misled them throughout, thinking that the accomplishments of our troops mean that the policy itself is working.]
Dynamite: Commentary abandons democratism [Commenting on the key point in Bret Stephens’s article; but the whole article, laying out a new approach to Islam based on internal conflict within Islam, needs to be analyzed.]

“Victory” a chimera in Iraq

“We have no strategy to win” [Collection posted on VFR sidebar of excerpts from various articles on this theme]
How do we defeat militant Islam? Sept 10, 2003
The Dream of Iraqi Democratization vs. the Reality of Iraqi Violence, FrontPage magazine, April 20, 2004
Did Bush misspeak or did he speak the truth?, September 2, 2004
E-mail to a pro-Bush blogger, September 30, 2004
Our main goal in Iraq remains an unsustainable “democracy,” not victory, Nov 10, 2004 “Staying the course” means staying in Iraq—forever
US commanders in Iraq grim about prospects
Buckley: we cannot win in Iraq
Administration admits its goals in Iraq have been “unrealistic” [August ‘05: senior administration officials are admitting that what I’ve been saying all along is true. The admission is driven by two paramount realities that even the most devoted Bush champions can no longer deny: the continuation of the terror insurgency (i.e., no victory); and the Iraqis’ choice of a sharia constitution (i.e., no freedom).]
The unreality of our Iraq policy—and of the thought process required to defend it [September 13, 2007]
Podhoretz’s fake reply to a decisive refutation of democratism [How Norman Podhoretz dismisses the problem of Hamas victory in Palestinian election in his book.]
Our perverted Iraq policy [On the murder conviction of Sgt. Evan Vela.]

Summing up the Iraq disaster

Running out the clock, time standing still

Further thoughts about Iraq war

Thinking through the invasion of Iraq, again [December 2006. A theory. The purpose of invasion was 50 percent WMDs, 50 percent democratization. The Bush people believed that there were WMDs, but didn’t demand absolute proof because they thought that Iraq’s rapid democratization following the invasion would make the WMDs issue unimportant.]
I’m so mixed up and confused [August 2007. My mock-plaintive title is a humorous expression of the befuddlement of a reasonably rational person trying to follow on its own terms a debate that has led us from “We are the instrument of God, spreading democracy over the earth!” to “We can’t leave Iraq or there will be mass murder!” with nary a word as to how the first led to the second or even any reference to the fact that the first led to the second.]
The Bushites’ fundamental dishonesty about Iraq [Sept. 2007. How Bushites have never admitted that it was our bungled invasion of Iraq that invited in al Qaeda and thus turned Iraq into the “central theater in the war on terror.”]

The Magnificent Seven: neocons trying to wash their hands of Bush’s failures in Iraq

Pro-war neocons turn on Bush, washing their own hands [I tear apart Perle’s claim in Vanity Fair interview that he and other neoconservatives were not responsible for the disaster of Bush’s Iraq policy.]
Is the Vanity Fair article on neocons a dishonest hit piece?
More gems from the apostate neocons
Article on the anti-Bush neocons is published
They’re baack, and it’s no joke
Richard Perle: there was never a neoconservative foreign policy [March 2009]

Other efforts by neocons to distance themselves from Bush policy

Denying that Bush’s policy is neoconservative [My July 2005 article critiquing Krauthammer’s “The Neoconservative Convergence.”

Iraq general

What we need to do in Iraq [A response to “if we leave it will be a bloodbath”]
Bacevich: the U.S. should take in “millions” of Iraqis [I reply that we must not take in Iraqi refugees]
New strategies for the Mideast following failure in Iraq [Re Friedman’s proposal of giving up on Iraq and defending Saudi Arabia; I quote key passage from “What we need to do in Iraq”]
What we’re doing now in Iraq is worse than our worst-case scenario [My three week invasion once every five years plan]

Helprin on how to wage the war

Helprin’s comprehensive strategy for the war on terror
Helprin excoriates Bush, proposes new strategy
How to win the war on militant Islam
Codevilla and Podhoretz Debate the War

The fictional quality of the war

The fictional war—a collection [containing all the below]
The core contradiction that makes the “war” a mess and the “war” supporters mad
[We say we’re in a war, but the outcome depends on what other people do.]
Hanson’s brain has flatlined [“His liberalism—meaning his horror of identifying an actual enemy, as distinct from the fictional, fascist, enemy—forces him to keep veering all over the place to avoid making true and consistent statements about the nature of Islam.”]
Denial, to the nth degree [On FrontPage’s “Islamofascist Awareness Week]
The parallel frauds of liberalism and conservatism [The war against “Islamofascism” is to conservatives what Sam Francis’s “anarcho-tyranny” is to liberals.]
Really, really extreme [Our fictional war against fictional Islamofascists]
Masters of (fictional) War
The McCain candidacy reveals the essence of Bushism: the promotion of a non-existent war for which we must sacrifice everything

The Surge

The Surge—a collection [November 2007]
The surge [December 2006]
The eternal surge [September 2007]
The debilitating dream that never dies [September 2007]
The unreality of our Iraq policy—and of the thought process required to defend it [September 2007—excellent analysis of how we mistake an endless process for “success”]
What is the failure we fear? What is the success we seek? [September 2007]
On the Petraeus testimony [September 2007—my fullest consideration of the surge at its best]
Iraq update [November 30, 2007, status of surge]
The official story on Iraq, then and now [December 2007—the reversal in our strategy from “A will lead to B,” to “B will lead to A,” but both are equally illusory.]
Does victory over al Qaeda in Iraq mean victory in Iraq? [July 2008—while victory over al Qaeda in Iraq seems imminent, GIs and Iraqis in Baghdad say the relative peace in Baghdad is only a lull which will end when the surge ends.]

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 01, 2009 08:30 AM | Send

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