Monday, February 05, 2007

"Victory" in Iraq?

It really gets my goat when I hear somebody on TV talking about "victory" in Iraq. Inevitably it's some Republican or other right-winger arguing a case for increased military activity. It's clear to me that they don't know what the hell they're talking about.

Let's take a look at what "victory" means. My American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "final and complete defeat of the enemy in a military engagement." Now how does that apply to Iraq? Well, we achieved "victory" in 2003! We completely defeated Saddam's forces. Then we went from a military operation into something else. The problem was, we kept looking to our military to do all the things that somebody else should've been doing, like building a new Iraqi government, providing security, rebuilding infrastructure. They didn't do it, our military CAN'T do it, and Iraq is a hell-hole because of it.

"Victory" implies an organized, identifiable enemy. The people tearing Iraq apart are not a cohesive, organized group, and even Iraqis can't tell who's on what side. So who the hell are we fighting? And how the hell are we going to achieve "victory"? And just what IS "victory", anyway?

No, we can't achieve "victory" in Iraq. Maybe we can help quiet things down in Baghdad long enough for the insanely corrupt pig-headed criminals and warlords (otherwise known as the "Iraqi government") to get a hold on things. Maybe. It's a long shot. I still think that we need to try this one last time. If the Iraqi's fail, then it's time to cut our losses and leave.

But "victory"? That term can not apply here.

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