Sunday, June 1, 2008

To Whom it May Concern

Never give up! Never surrender! -- Galaxy Quest, in which a television cast is kidnapped by aliens who did not know the difference between fiction and reality.

Within 10 minutes of Sen. John McCain’s speech on foreign policy at the University of Denver he was interrupted by several protesters four separate times –- each chanting “end this war” repeatedly until they were removed.

The crowd quickly drowned them out by chanting “John McCain. John McCain, John McCain.”

McCain responded each time, drawing a standing ovation when he said, “By the way, I will never surrender in Iraq. Our American troops will come home with victory and with honor.” -- Alan Gathright, David Montero, Rocky Mountain News Originally published 07:48 a.m., May 27, 2008

Surrender? To whom?

You can call it a war, and yes, people are dying, even U. S. soldiers. You can point and say "Enemy," picking a different direction to point each time you say the magic word (Sunni insurgents, the Shiite Militias, Iran, Syria, "Islamofascists," terrorists, al Qaeda, and by golly we've caught 32 or more of al Qaeda's "#3 men" haven't we). But look at each one of those magic words and ask yourself, "How would we surrender to them?"

There is nobody to surrender to. They deposed, caught, and executed Saddam Hussein. That's it. Game over. No chemical or biological weapons exist. No nuclear weapons or weapons program.

The U.S. won the war on Iraq.

This is what winning looks like.

Winning looks like an average of 2-3 U.S. soldiers coming home every day in body bags. Over ten times that number come home physically injured. As for psychological damage, well, suck it up soldier, that's why we give you a G.I. Bill that will pay your way to any number of fine community colleges.

Winning means killing off an entire generation of Iraq young men, and driving much of the country into exile. Winning means disease and death for young children. Winning means lines around the block for terrorist training camps.

Winning means spilling our country's blood and treasure, like so much oil into a broken pipeline, to pool and soak into the sand.

Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome. -- George H. W. Bush and Brent Scrowcroft, "Why We Didn't Invade Iraq."

Moreover, when presented with the opportunity for "Nation Building," the shiny young minds of the Conservative Movement were handed the keys to the Kingdom, and got what you would expect. Second Amendment rights? Absolutely. Everybody in Iraq has a gun. Free speech? Well, sorta. Fourth and fifth amendments? Well, let's not let things get out of hand (*cough*Abu Ghraib*). Besides, low taxes and property rights are much more important.

The Movement Philosophy produced almost exactly what one would expect: a feudal society, based on who has the best organized militia and most loyal followers. The U.S. is the dominant warlord in a warloard state.

Besides, it's easy to point to real winners in Iraq. Saudi Arabian oil now sells for triple digits. Exxon/Mobil et al. makes almost as much money as the U.S. military spends in Iraq. Haliburton, Bechtel, Blackwater. Pick a contractor. It's a money river. A veritable paradise in the desert.

So a U.S. withdrawal might stop some of that cash flow. There's a loss right there, right on the balance sheets.

Let me now decode John McCain's original statement, because I and I alone possess the magic answer to the question "Surrender to whom?" And it's true, John McCain and the Republican Party will never surrender to...



Anonymous said...

The silence surrounding this news is deafening. This paragraph --

"CBS News did its own extensive research, finding that more than 6,250 American veterans took their own lives in 2005 alone. That comes to slightly more than 17 suicides every day"

if true puts us solidly in 'Nam casualty rates. If not true, it's certainly worthy of a debunking. What message does silence bear?

James Killus said...

The suicide story actually got some play around here. It wasn't entirely clear how many were Iraq war vets though. Ugly any way it's sliced, though.

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