Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam is Dead-Great Opportunity to Get Out

So Saddam Hussein is finally dead-more than 3 years after he was captured. Given his obvious guilt, this was amazingly slow.

This provides Bush with his perhaps last chance to get out of Iraq semi-honorably. Now he can say: "OK, now the old dictator and his sons are all dead. The reign of the Hussein clan is thus irrevocably finished. Now it is up to you Iraqis to run your own country. Whatever threat Saddam may have posed to us is over so our mission is now accomplished (if you pardon my repetition of that phrase). We wish you good luck, but we are not going to sacrifice ourselves in a vain effort to prevent you from killing each other. That is your business, not ours, so we will now leave".

By again narrowing the definition of success to ending whatever threat Saddam allegedly posed in the past, it is possible for America to get out of Iraq with only a limited degree of lost prestige. The fact that the Bush administration greatly exaggerated the alleged threat and then broadened the mission to the naive naive neoconservative fantasy of transforming Iraq to a western-style democracy, makes some loss of prestige inevitable. But by again limiting the mission to Iraq to ending whatever threat Saddam may have posed to America, the loss of prestige will also be limited.

Unfortunately though, the Bush administration shows no signs of giving up the naive and impossible neoconservative fantasy of turning Iraq into a western-style democracy and are thus making preparations for an honorable withdrawal. This means at least 2 years (until Bush leaves office in January 2009) more of sacrifice of thousands of american soldiers and hundreds of billions of dollar in the futile endeavor of establishing a system of government incompatible with the strong tribalist and jihadist sentiment prevalent among most Arab Iraqis.

Since it is incompatible with Iraqi culture, the neocon project will continue to fail no matter how many years America stays. The only difference between leaving now and leaving a few years from now is that by leaving now, losses of American lives and taxpayers' money will be limited.

Moreover, an American departure would actually be bad news for both Sunni and Shiite jihadits. The Shiite jihadists currently running Iraq would no longer be able to use American troops as cannon fodder in their war against the Sunnis and would instead be forced to sacrifice themselves to a higher extent. The Sunnis on their hand have no real chance of regaining power with Saddam's army dissolved and with the Shiites greatly outnumbering them and receiving support from fellow Shiite jihadists in Iran.


Anonymous Per-Olof Samuelsson said...

Too bad George Bush doen't read your blog!

(And too bad he is a goddamn Christian altruist.)

10:01 AM  

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