Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The More Things Change In Iraq, The More They Stay The Same


If you like the way things are going in Iraq, then you'll be thrilled by what our continued presence there will bring. More of the same. Six days, six months, six years--more of the same.

Violence will continue. Some months, killings will be up. Some months, down. Attacks on U.S. troops and installations will continue. Some days, we'll be spared a single casualty. Some days, two or three Americans will die.

Our half-billion-dollar embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone will continue to take hits, and an incendiary device could burn the place to the ground because Iraqi workers botched the fire-control system during construction. On purpose? Who's to say?

Can we look forward to a reduction in the strife between the Shiites and Sunnis? Truces will be declared and broken. Some months, killings will be up. Some months, they'll be down. Same old, same old. Religious strife has been part of the fabric of Iraqi civilization since it was called Mesopotamia. The Ottoman Empire couldn't pacify the region in the hundreds of years of trying. The British Empire had little better luck in the 1900s, despite an effort that killed 100,000 of its troops. Nation building has a hard go of it in Iraq.

Iraq's oil fields? Production is improving. It's a bit greater than it was prior to our invasion. Can it be sustained? Maybe--if we can keep it a secret that oil is flammable.

A workable Iraqi government? Sure, when the Shiites and Sunnis learn to love each other.

When a new president is elected this November, what will change in the war that's costing the United States $200,000 a minute? Very little, be our new leader Republican or Democrat. We're so deeply entwined in the pitiful nation of Iraq and in the region as a whole that massive policy change isn't possible. Troops will be shuffled in and shuffled out. Plans will be made and discarded. Generals will come and go. And we'll remain in Iraq.

And remain ... and remain ... and remain.


Anonymous said...

I agree: we will stay in Iraq for a long time. But what I hear few people talking about is that the staggering cost of Iraq could well bring on a major financial crisis in the U.S. (which, of course, would bring a swift halt to the Iraqi misadventure). If China starts dumping its hundreds of billions of dollars, the U.S. currency will plunge in value (and America's reign as a superpower will come to a quick halt).

redhogdiary said...

Ya gotta have Hope Marc, ya gotta have Hope.