neocons are nervous about their ill-conceived imperial adventure
in Iraq, and if you want proof, read David
Gergen's column in this week's U.S. News and World Report.
factotum for Democrat and Republican presidents alike, and who most
recently toiled for Bill Clinton, Gergen writes that our mission
in Iraq isn't just "urgent," but "fiercely"
fever wanes with every American boy blown to bits or crippled for
life, and "we," the neocon quaestor harrumphs, must whip
the country up for more of the same.
few of Gergen’s choice lines:
are in a race against time. If we do not restore order and renew
hope soon … we will face not only more violence from the Sunni
minority but deafening demands from the Shiite majority to leave
before our job there is done." But we're making progress, he
said. "Just last week, 5.5 million children went back to school
– thanks, in part, to the 1,000 schools that U.S. soldiers have
been helping to rebuild."
this battle cry: "Retreat is not an option. To leave Iraq without
finishing the job would be a disaster for American foreign policy,"
sending a bad message to terrorists. "We have to stick with
Iraq until things calm down and we can turn the reins over to a
government that is elected, friendly, and will last.
we must also be realistic…. Perhaps our current approach will
restore order and create jobs a few years from now, but Iraqis won’t
wait that long."
gotta love the imperial "we," which can mean two things:
either the Gergocon eggheads from New York and Washington who risk
nothing, or the cannon fodder from everywhere else who risk everything.
Gergen Is Wrong
Gergen pleads for us to ignore the wanton casualties undermining
American morale. Just keep sending your sons to die until things
"calm down," then everything will be all right.
the Middle East will never "calm down," at least for the
average American fighting man, as long as the United States tilts
on, blundering and meddling.
idea that retreat will encourage more terrorism is valid only if
one believes the guerrillas sniping at American troops have hatched
some larger strategy to destroy the United States. Preposterous.
This is an overstretched version of the argument not to let the
bully push you around the schoolyard, except these terrorists aren't
"bullies," and Baghdad is no schoolyard. Serious thinkers
don't believe this line, and neither should anyone else.
do learn American troops men are school builders in Iraq, while
a teeming horde of a few million illegal aliens besiege schools
Iraqis on "our side" are impatient for our ministrations
to heal the country with good reason. The longer it takes and the
higher the American death toll, the clearer it becomes that even
America’s awesome military cannot destroy local resistance. Eventually
that truth will undermine popular support, such as it is, for the
very elements we wish would prevail. The longer we stay, the more
they resemble lackeys, not allies.
Gergocons are panicked over what might transpire here if Americans
don't stop dying in Iraq: The
voters dump Bush; the job is left undone. Israel is in trouble.
But this was a job better left unstarted, and the sooner "we"
learn that, to use Gergenese, the sooner the killing will stop.
to come home.
columnist R. Cort Kirkwood [send
him mail] is managing editor of the Daily News-Record
in Harrisonburg, Va.