Today I’m reminded of this little scene from Life of Brian:
Yeah. All right, Stan. Don’t labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?!
Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that’s true. Yeah.
And the sanitation.
Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like?
Yeah. All right. I’ll grant you the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done.
And the roads.
Well, yeah. Obviously the roads. I mean, the roads go without saying, don’t they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads–
Huh? Heh? Huh…
Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.
And the wine.
Oh, yes. Yeah…
Yeah. Yeah, that’s something we’d really miss, Reg, if the Romans left. Huh.
And it’s safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg.
Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let’s face it. They’re the only ones who could in a place like this.
Hehh, heh. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.
All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
I’m a little curious. At what point of Iraq progress does the “no exit plan” argument finally lose steam. At what point does the Vietnam comparisons, quagmire calls, and “end the war now” proclamations become tired. Of course it is exactly like Vietnam, except for the bit about overthrowing the primary enemy, dismantling the army, occupying all major cities, establishing an elected government, training a new army and police force, having an embassy and walking through the process of now passing a constitution approved by the People.
Wait, a second, methinks there’s a problem somewhere in the analogy. Let’s see. Ah, that’s it. All Asians, in fact do not look alike.
So, there’s no “exit plan”, except for the bit about the elections, training, empowering, tribunals, Constitution, etc. and so on. Yeah, there are still people dying. But, if that was a sign of failure, we’d have long left Los Angeles and Detroit by now.
Just goes to so, that saying something, even a lot, doesn’t make it true. May God bless the Iraqi people as they continue to rebuild.
Oh!: a better link than the “glass is half empty” one above: Iraqis back democracy four to one. Which means, oddly enough, that everything Bush has thought about the situation thus far has been right. Now if only the anti-“war” folks could admit this, quit their belly-aching so the folks blowing up bombs in Iraq would no longer have an audience.
That’s really worth another post right there, only I haven’t quite developed the thought enough. The anti-war movement has, curiously, been likely the indirect cause for at least a 1000 deaths in my estimation. By keeping up a political opposition they have diluted the effects of overwhelming force by giving the enemy a rationale for victory. In this way it is Vietnam like, as the enemy understands there is no chance for military victory but does see the chance for victory through political defeatism. Thus, because of the protests against death, more deaths are caused. If America was 4 to 1 in favor of democracy in Iraq, the terrorists would go elsewhere. This means that Cindy Sheehan, oddly enough, is likely more to blame for her son’s death than is President Bush.
Overwhelming force must be accompanied by overwhelming resolve. This doesn’t mean all political opposition is wrong, rather it’s more a matter of timing and methods. If Bush had 80% support, there was no anti-“war” movement, and there was not the slightest indication of political fallout from our military presence there, the bombs would stop and the military would come home.
I am of the increasing conviction there’s a lesson in this.