No Place Like Home for the Troops

No Place Like Home for the Troops

I’m a fairly regular reader of the evangelical outpost, and often disagree, even though I respond here infrequently.; Today Joe Carter has a post, The Ruby Slipper Option: Why We Can’t Win in Iraq, that is really exceptionally good, though I detect that Carter is less happy with his conclusion than I am.

I have commented a few times that Americans are, quite fortunately, not ruthless enough to be an occupying power. Carter notes that we tend to be a bit of a homesick power, although the homesickness is heavily the work of the voters who are already home. This is an excellent point with regard to American attitudes.

I would add, however, that there never was a hopeful option in Iraq. There was never any doubt that we could win on the battlefield, and of course we did. But winning as an occupying power with troops required to function as a fairly advanced police force is much less likely. I sense regret in many conservatives, such as Joe Carter, that we don’t have the staying power to make Iraq stable before we leave.

But what solution is there in Iraq that creates a stable country? The fact is that a stable Iraq that is also completely democratic is a fantasy. It’s not going to happen. Iraq is an artificial country combining people with different goals. These facts should have been given more consideration before we went in. One important consideration in formulating foreign policy should be: Is it sustainable? Determining that means considering whether the voters are likely to hang in there for the long haul. If you persuade people to enter the war with optimistic forecasts, you can’t be surprised when they abandon that support when things don’t look so rosy.

I would note, however, that I see no good reason for the voters to have been deceived. I believe the administration painted an excessively optimistic picture, but why would anyone with reading skills have believed it? If anyone supported the war, it should have been with the knowledge that it could have been worse than it is, and that it would certainly involved American lives and resources for a substantial period of time. I credit those who continue to support the war with consistency. I wonder about those who supported it and changed their minds.

In any case, American leaders should consider the Wizard of Oz factor when formulating foreign policy.

9 thoughts on “No Place Like Home for the Troops

  1. Yet we still have troops in Japan, Germany, and South Korea and no one seems bothered by that. I think that the main problem is that our attention spans have grown shorter while warfare has not changed.

  2. just noticed this – “though I detect that Carter is less happy with his conclusion than I am.”

    Good grief, Henry, are you saying that you’re *happy* with a loss in Iraq?

  3. And you’ll be happy with the consequences of proving bin Laden correct that we are in fact paper tigers who can be attacked with impunity?

    And what about the vast majority of Iraq that is not only under control, but under *Iraqi* control? Is that not success that should be celebrated and built upon, not handed over to Iranian funded and armed militias? Why are our military commanders wrong when they say that we have not lost yet?

  4. LOL, because I found it profoundly depressing! We represent too much of the country; communication is useless because now we each have our own set of facts. I don’t know how to resolve that problem. I have caught the MSM in too many lies, you evidently feel the same way about the military. And the same comparison could doubtless be made for a variety of sources and topics.

    Whatever… but it bodes ill for the future of the country. I just deleted two paragraphs on why I think that because I figured “why bother.” I just don’t want to argue about it any more than you do. And when you figure how many other people feel like this – and we’re the calm, rational ones, not the Kos Kids or the Freepers! – how many years away are we, really, from a national divorce?

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