I’ve certainly seen better from Victor David Hanson than this. Of course, it’s a sideways justification for what has become a monumental mess. Equally of course it’s not surprising. Apologists for Bush will be out in force draping the last eight years in nice pink and yellow bows and ribbons while the new string of Republican candidates distance themselves. I just wish I didn’t have to sit through it.
I received that article via email and this was my email back out, with some edits.
This is a false-comparison. The actual taking of Iraq was brilliantly done and I don’t think many, if any, complained about the competence or execution from top-to-bottom in that operation.
It’s been a disaster since, getting worse. The military are not policemen; nor are they builders of nations. Keep them to the task of destroying things when the need arises and we’ll do OK. Germany and Japan worked because the populations — due to the utter destruction — were pacified, there was no active or organized resistance to speak of, and there weren’t enemy neighbors creating, organizing, and supplying such resistance. As it is, we’ve given people throughout the entire region — who were often antagonistic towards one-another — common cause against us, and that was a profoundly stupid thing to do geopolitically, strategically, and militarily. It’s profoundly dumb to inject U.S. Military Force to the point where factions, regions, and nations that were hostile to one-another (remember the Iran-Iraq war?) all unite against you.
The ironic thing is that had America acted as though it was really "Mission Accomplished" — when such was declared — and pulled out with a stern message to not make us come back, then it might have gone down as a success. But I certainly wouldn’t be foolish enough to support something that’s a clear disaster and getting worse. Why in hell would I want to do that? Why would I want to make a completely impertinent comparison? If the whole deal was going at least arguably well, would there be any need to trumpet our past mistakes and failures as some sort of justification for more mistakes and failures? One hundred new U.S. dead per month is anything but doing ‘arguably well,’ and who in hell ever heard of 100 dead per month during an occupation? That’s not an occupation; that’s a conflict.
I can tell this next year’s going to be lots of "fun." What with this election, and now people like VDH (whom I have often respected) falling all over themselves to spew out utter bullshit about how a complete fuck up isn’t actually a complete fuck up and is somehow justified because…well because we’ve fucked up before. Wow; what a great hat-hanger that is.
Hang on. It’s gonna be quite a ride.
Look: you can’t have it both ways. Either Iraq was never put down sufficiently in the first place — in which case, what the hell are we doing rebuilding a nation we’re still at war with? Or, it was put down properly in the first place and we’ve sat and watched it build right back up to being as big of a terrorist threat (maybe more) as it ever was — all while we’re "rebuilding" the dammed infrastructure so it can be even more effective.
What a mess; which, I will point out, is exactly what Republicans would be saying had it been a Democrat in office these last eight years.