Winning


This is the last paragraph of “Out of Iraq” by George McGovern and William R. Polk published in 2006.

“Finally, all war is unpredictable and horrible. Our wise old statesman Benjamin Franklin once said, “There never was a good war.” But among wars, guerrilla wars are the worst; at beat they are unwinnable, lasting in Ireland for centuries and in Algeria for a century and a half. Chechens suffered massacre, deportation, rape and massive destruction at the hands of the Russians for nearly four centuries, and now incorporated into Russia, Chechnya still is not “pacified.” Aware of this history, the American neoconservative advisors to our government plan for (and indeed advocate) perpetual war. If they get their wish, then the final lesson of Iraq will emerge from the “fog of war.” It is that insurgency and counterinsurgency brutalize whole societies, even those of the victors. This was true of the British in Kenya, French in Algeria, Americans in the Philippines, Russians in Chechnya, and Chinese in Tibet. Hegel may be right – we may not learn; but certainly, we would be wise to heed the warning of Santayana not to “blot” the lessons of this costly adventure out of our minds. It has been our most expensive school.”

Winning. There are many different meanings for “winning” depending on who you are. For the average American, winning means to stay in Iraq as long as it takes to set up a society similar to the one we are used to here in the United States. The average American, who is not the least bit familiar with Iraqi history and Iraqi culture, thinks that that outcome is obtainable while we have over 100,000 troops in Iraq. It hasn’t occurred to that average American that as long as foreign troops are occupying the country it is fiction to believe the Iraqis will do anything but fight us.

Winning for the neo-cons means keep raising the patriot issue by calling anyone who suggests we find a way to withdraw, “cut ‘n run liberals.” Never mind that over 80% of the country thinks the country is heading in the wrong direction. Neo-cons will continue to demagogue and use their empty arguments about not withdrawing as a way to divide the electorate.

Winning for George W. Bush and his handlers is getting cheap access to Iraqi oil. Iraq has the largest reserves of oil in the mid-East. And it is sweet crude (low sulpher). Saudi has a lot of oil but is sour, high Sulpher. The Iraqi government has signed long term contracts with some major international oil companies at terms that are not real favorable to the Iraqi people.,

Once the United States troops leave, you can safely bet that the government that is installed after the civil war will not be the one that signed the contracts and the oil companies may be nationalized. No greater fear has an oilman than a government taking over their company, equipment and profits. This is really what Bush fears.

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2 Comments on “Winning”

  1. kip Says:

    I believe you may have written the perfect post to explain just exactly what is going on.
    Either that, or I just happen to agree completely with you!

  2. Chief Says:

    Thank you.


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