Nick B is reduced to begging:
Is it possible, Vox, to actually ever express anything positive about Iraq? I dunno *what* — JUST ONE FRIGGIN’ TIME, it might be nice.
There are numerous positive things one can say about Iraq and the US occupation:
1. A brutal dictator has been removed from power and his regime has been demolished.
2. The USA has demonstrated that, for once, it is willing to force a defeated enemy to hold to the terms of the ceasefire agreement or face the military consequences.
3. The Arab nations have been given warning that their financial support for Islamic terrorism will not always be ignored.
4. The US military has had the chance to experiment with its new weapons and tactics.
5. The feminist goal of pushing women in combat has suffered greatly thanks to the exposure of the Jessica Lynch mythology.
6. The economic threat of the US dollar being replaced by the Euro as the global standard has been put off by a decade or more. No one is lining up to be the next nation to try making that move.
7. The UN has been revealed (again) as a corrupt, useless organization.
You’ll note, however, that all of these good things were accomplished in the first few months of the invasion. I was not an opponent of the war, but I was a skeptical, somewhat reluctant supporter. The reason for my skepticism has been largely, though not yet fully, realized as the administration’s justifications for its actions have continued to shift towards those that allow it to keep troops in the region indefinitely.
If the President brings the troops back after the elections next week, I’ll be forced to conclude that the administration simply made an error of timing with regards to withdrawal, which is perfectly understandable. Overstaying one’s welcome is not a sin, it is simply clumsy and impolite.
But if excuses are made to continue the occupation indefinitely and forcibly arrange the elected government to the administration’s liking, it will begin to become clear to everyone that the President was lying from the very beginning about his objectives in Iraq and that he has no more genuine interest in Iraqi freedom and democracy than does his good friend Vladimir Putin.
If the war is expanded or if the administration plays too heavy a hand in modifying the results of the election while keeping the troops to play some sort of Praetorian Guard role for its chosen premier, I will fully expect to see a serious attempt to impeach the president made during his second term.