Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Pull-Out Method

I was just reading this Op-Ed piece by Frank Rich and I was struck by something that's been in front of my face all along.
Of course, everyone has heard and talked about Pat Robertson's recent quote regarding assassination of Hugo Chavez. He advocates it, in part, because "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. [. . .] We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Well, besides the obvious problems with this statement and the arrogance it shows, it also points to a complete lack of understanding (perhaps deliberate?) about why this war cost $200 billion and many lives.
The truth is, when a big, powerful country swaggers into another country and tries to change what is wrong, or, I'm sorry, evil about it, then they better damn well stick around to clean up the ensuing mess.
We could have left after Hussein's regime was toppled and the result would likely have been the same as if some assassin had come in the night and slit his throat. No, this way was worse because it destroyed much of the infrastructure of Iraq.

Guess what those of you who are changing your minds now about the war - WAKE UP! Especially if you voted for this President, or didn't vote at all, you have some complicity in this. We, as a country, own this now. Many who knew better tried to warn you about what happens when we take a hand in another country's affairs (Gee, has this happened before?) - the cost in money and lives. This is especially dangerous when done unilaterally (though we can't forget Poland).
Yes, mistakes were made along the way and there should be accountability. I would like to see more transparency. But do those of you who are liberals really believe leaving Iraq to stew in the boiling pot we created will bring any real shame down on this administration? Or bring any more questions about why we were there in the first place? I doubt it - at least not in this administration's lifetime.

Most everyone is marginalizing Robertson, even hawk Republicans. And some of those people are the same people who are now backing away from Iraq. Assassination is 'crazy talk' but pulling out of a country with problems that we caused or exacerbated is 'good politics.'

I guess, in the end, what I object to most is Republicans and voters changing their minds now that they know things they should have known before. I also object to liberals acting as if the situation over in Iraq will get better if we leave (there is no evidence of this, from what I have seen) and that it would be a success in some way if we pull the troops out. I think no matter what side people are on, such a withdrawal is a defeat and an embarrassment at best - at worst it is irresponsible and inhumane.