Monday, September 19, 2005

Stupid Neocon Tricks

Top ten bad reasons for "staying the course' in Iraq.

10. Democracy takes time. America needed 13 years to write its Constitution.

The American Revolution analogy is ludicrous. Britain did not invade America in 1776 to liberate us, and we did not ask them to stick around for more than a decade to help us form our government.

9. If we leave now, we'll embolden the terrorists.

They're not exactly shrinking violets now. The longer we've stayed, the bolder they've become.

8. Withdrawing will show lack of American resolve.

Getting in a bar fight over a girl shows resolve. Waking up in jail with your nose broken shows how stupid you are.

7. We're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here.

If we don't have to fight them over here, why do we spend around $40 billion a year for a Department of Homeland Security?

6. The spread of democracy in the Middle East will enhance America's security.

"Free" elections in the Middle East have helped Afghanistan become the world's leading exporter of narcotics and transformed terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah into "legitimate" political parties.

5. We need to support our troops.

I applaud and deeply respect our men and women in uniform for their magnificent service and sacrifice. These are my people, remember? However, comma...

In the first place, we are supporting our troops--to the tune of nearly half a trillion dollars a year.

Second, when we continue to commit those men and women in uniform to a struggle for which there is no military solution, we are abusing them, not supporting them.

Third--and most importantly--America does not exist for the purpose of supporting its military. Our military exists to support America. And if it's not defending us at home or achieving our national aims overseas, it's not supporting our country.

4. If we pull out now, we'll look weak.

We've committed our national power into an ill-advised war and are losing. How much weaker can we look?

3. In times of crisis, we need to rally around the president and his policies.

America will not maintain or restore its power and prestige by behaving like a nation of lemmings. There is nothing noble, brave, or patriotic about following the leader over the cliff and into the sea.

2. "They tried to kill my dad."

Thanks to Mister Bush's policies and strategies, they've succeeded in killing a lot of dads, and moms, and aunts, and uncles, and brothers, and sisters...


If we cut through the bunk mentality and frame the argument for staying in Iraq to reflect the neocons' real purpose for the Iraq invasion, it would sound something like this:

1. We set out to establish a military base of operations from which we can control the Middle East and its oil, and we should persist until we "get the job done."

Even though it's true, it's still specious. Our "best-trained, best-equipped, best-funded" military can't get Iraq or Afghanistan under control. How can we possibly expect to lock down the entire Middle East?


We owe something to the Iraqi people.

This is the only rationale that still holds water with me. We need to pay for the pottery we broke. But how much do we need to pay for it, and who exactly is this "we" we're referring to, Kimosabe?

"We the people" weren't the honchos of the Project for a New American Century who made ousting Saddam Hussein the crown jewel of the Bush administration's foreign policy. "We" did not cook the intelligence on Iraq. "We" did not ignore the advice of generals who warned against invading Iraq, then warned against invading with too few troops. And "we" did not fumble the counterinsurgency effort for two years.

Whatever the price of "their" bad policies, strategies, and decisions turns out to be, "we" will be the ones who pay for them. Really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes, remember?

How responsible are "we" for "their" deceptions and mistakes, and how much do "we" want to pay for them?


On a related note:

As Katrina hit, Dick Cheney, one of "those" neocons who constructed "our" Iraq strategy, was looking at buying a $2.9 million house in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, just down the road from "that" Donald Rumsfeld's place.


  1. Amen.

    Our troops have done about as much good as can be accomplished in Iraq. Now it's time to start bringing them back home. As you say, how much weaker can we look?

    Vietnam parallels, now -- think they'll call it "peace with honor"? or will it be something more like "don't make us come back and liberate you some more!"?

  2. "Don't make us come back."

    Good one, Jeff.

  3. Anonymous3:13 PM

    "America does not exist for the purpose of supporting its military. Our military exists to support America. And if it's not defending us at home or achieving our national aims overseas, it's not supporting our country."

    This needs to be drummed into the head of every American. I worry that we have, indeed, turned the corner where this country now exists to support its military. It certainly seems that way given how much of our tax dollar now flows to defense. Never underestimate the attraction of nationalism, authoritarianism and patriotism especially in times of crisis.

    Nice post, Jeff! Definitely required reading for Knits Enders.


  4. Yeah, Kerstin. A lot needs to be drummed into every American's head.

    The commander in chief is not OUR commander in chief. He's commander in chief of OUR military. He is OUR president for as long as we care to have him. We are not HIS citizens.

  5. William Bollinger4:41 PM

    Odd. Guess who else has a house in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, just down the road from "that" Donald Rumsfeld's place - Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's ex campaign manager.

    I don't know what to think of that.

  6. I do, William. It says something about the difference between the parties when the key figures all live in the same exclusive neighborhoods.


  7. I was surprised by the report today that the British are fighting the Iraqi police in Basra.

  8. Say WHAT? Do you have a link?

  9. Sure,
    You can also access it from Huffington Post.

    AP had something on it and I believe the British destroyed the Iraqi jail while freeing their soldiers

  10. Excellent, sharp post, Jeff. I hope you don't mind if I swipe it in toto and post it in the Labyrinth tomorrow....

  11. So sad, TL.


    Please feel free.