The Early Cost Of Empire
R. Cort Kirkwood
have the early returns on the war in Iraq.
organized military is crushed, but the United States now faces a
deadly, expensive, endless occupation, which is shaping up rather
differently than the post-war occupation of Germany and Japan.
we think much of the Muslim world hates us now, just wait five years.
More importantly, our national character and liberty is at stake.
it is, those of us who predicted the consequences of occupation
military officials admit the occupation could be as long as five
years. As well, war minister Donald Rumsfeld says the occupation
of Iraq, now at 150,000 troops, costs $3.9 billion a month, on top
of $900 million a month for Afghanistan.
12 months, thatís about $50 billion.
long those military expenditures will continue is anyoneís guess,
but at least those are only money.
soldiers, now serving as urban police, get killed two and three
at a time in gruesome attacks. They are nervous, scared and some
now openly question, a recent article in the Washington Post reports,
why they are there.
wonder. Since May 1, when President Bush declared the war over,
an Iraqi resistance, apparently organized to harass occupation troops,
the paper reports, has killed 32 Americans.
died on Wednesday.
Like World War II
is the cost of military aggression.
one thinks of World War II and its causes, the world viewed the
United States as heroic liberator. We fought against powers that
attacked or declared war on the United States. The Christian inhabitants
of France and even Germany welcomed the American fighting man with
a warm embrace and flowers.
the Japanese came to love the Americans; they admired Gen. MacArthur,
the military regent who ruled Japan.
all my reading about World War II, I donít recall anything resembling
the attacks on our soldiers in Iraq. Yes, during the Cold War in
the late 1940s, Americans were kidnapped from the streets of Berlin,
never to return. But the aggressor there was the Soviet government.
civilians did not plant land mines on bridges. They did not shoot
Americans from ambush.
Muslim Iraq is not Christian Europe.
point: A Republic, even one more powerful than any other nation,
cannot manage an empire. Indeed, a ruthless totalitarian regime
cannot manage an empire, as the Soviet Union found out.
we canít form a stable government in Washington, D.C., how pray
tell, can we form one in Baghdad?
and photos tell the story: American soldiers search Iraqi citizens
at gunpoint. They arrest newspaper editors who ask the wrong questions.
An American soldier accidentally killed a young boy he thought was
occupation hardens the hatred of the Muslim world for Americans.
And it dissipates the morale of the soldiers, who cannot identify
friend and foe and who work in unrelenting fear and tension.
United States is playing an untenable imperial role that history
warns is the enemy of liberty at home. One small piece of evidence?
While American troops patrol Baghdad, dangerous Illegal immigrants,
some of whom kill Americans on returning after deportation, patrol
lurch toward world dominion will destroy what is left of Americaís
good will abroad. Even worse, it will further erode what is left
of its republican government.
to come home.
columnist R. Cort Kirkwood [send
him mail] is managing editor of the Daily News-Record
in Harrisonburg, Va.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com
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