Now that I've seen the error of my ways, I think the best course would be to apologize profusely and get out of Iraq in the fastest way possible. Timelines-Bah. Let's get out now. Right now. Every day we're there, things get a little worse. (OK. A lot worse.) If we need to assuage our guilt over the damage we've done, let's throw together a big bunch of money, and let the U.N. administer the re-building. I hear they’re pretty good at stuff like that. Maybe the French or the Russians could do better than we've been able to do (Hey. They couldn't do worse, now could they?). Iraq has been nothing but a big mistake.
And as I'm looking at the world from this new perspective, I'm thinking that we should re-examine Afghanistan too. We've been there almost five years now and we still haven't been able to find Osama. I mean, C'mon, it's just one guy we're looking for. How hard can it be? (And on this point alone, Rumsfeld deserves to be fired.) The Taliban is resurgent, they're growing poppies like there's no tomorrow and they have no control--none--of their border with Pakistan [Ignoring for the moment that it is a fair observation that we don't have control of ours either.]. Did we learn nothing from the Soviets?
You know what else? Elections, smelections. These aren’t real democracies we’ve stood up. They’re nothing more than Islamic Banana Republics. I guess it was sorta quaint to see those men and women in their traditional clothes all lined up waiting for the chance to proudly dip their fingers in ink. But really now. Are we really—seriously--supposed to believe that all these disparate tribes are even remotely capable of forming functioning democracies? I mean, a bunch of them can’t even read. Ridiculous. As bad as Saddam and the Taliban were, at least they made the trains run on time (OK, OK, OK. The Taliban didn’t have trains. But they did get everyone called to prayer on time. Let’s give them that.)
And let’s look at just who these knuckleheads elected. For crying out loud, the Afghans “elected” some guy who wears a frikkin’ cape everywhere he goes. Wazzup wit’ ‘dat? And the Iraqis were able to finally, finally settle on a guy who needs to shave about 4 times a day. Would it hurt him to keep a Norelco nearby? Helloooo? Plus, al-Maliki is a Shi’ite, fer
While we’re in the neighborhood, let’s not kid ourselves about Pakistan. They don’t have control of their side of the border either, and their intelligence service is thoroughly infiltrated by the bad guys. At least Musharraf is able to wear a decent suit, but I don’t trust ole’ Pervez as far as I could throw him. I mean, he’s both the President and a General. Bad combo, man. Bad combo. Does anyone really believe he wouldn’t incinerate Bombay in a New Delhi minute if he thought he could get away with it? He may have figured out that cozying up to Bush was the key to keeping his job (and his head on his shoulders), but I’m tellin’ ya’, he’s bad juju. Bad juju.
So now that I’ve looked at it all in the right light, I say we get out of the Mid-East. The biggies like Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Qatar, Bahrain and all those other crappy little places nobody can find on a map. All of it. Just get the hell out of Dodge, if you get my drift. None of it is worth our blood and treasure. And you know what else? I’m thinking that redeploying to Okinawa is still too close to the action. You know, the Indonesians don’t exactly like us either and they’re the most populous Islamic nation on the planet. Moving to Okinawa is just asking for trouble.
And let me tell you something from personal experience: The Okinawans don’t like us either. Not. At. All. They hated our presence there since before I was flying through there in the mid-eighties. The Japanese, much as they come off as all polite and everything, can really chafe at a conquering military presence on their soil. And who wouldn’t? We need to think about getting out of Japan too. Isn’t it time yet?
Since we’re looking at Japan, I guess we ought to look at South Korea too. Besides cheap DVD players and Hyundais, can anyone tell me how we benefit from a close relationship with South Korea? Me neither. And the semi-democracy we keep propped up there isn’t exactly what the people want. Unlike today’s American anti-war protestors, the South Koreans can get thousands to show up for demonstrations against their government. And these demonstrators are violent.
I guess I ought to also think about Taiwan, but try as I might, there’s really nothing to say. I don’t know one thing about Taiwan, other than that we have simultaneously extended our nuclear umbrella over Taiwan while we also oppose their independence through our One China policy. Could there be anything more contradictory? Let’s let China take back Taiwan. I mean, there are no gulags in Hong Kong, are there? What could go wrong in Taiwan? We’ve got Hawaii. Don’t the Chinese deserve an island paradise too? Not even a Puerto Rico? Guam?
There’s one other thing. I don’t think the Asians really even like their democracies. Every time you see one of those stories about a fistfight on the floor of a legislature, it’s from Taiwan or South Korea. Contrast that to the images of the guys who can get things done in North Korea and China. Everybody is always smiling and clapping. Democracy and liberty are over-rated. Only a crazy man would want liberty. The Asians like their dictators. They really do.
Since it looks like I'm repainting the whole damned house, I should at least look at the condition of things in the living room: Europe. Here is the sad truth: We've got troops in Germany, Italy, and Great Britain for no damned reason. The Russians are done--the life expectancy of a Russian man is 59 years. (Plug that into your Social Security calculator.) The Warsaw Pact is more than kaput...the Warsaw Pact countries have been fighting tooth-and-nail to get into NATO. Just who American troops are protecting Western Europe from is beyond me. It's well past time for the Western European countries to stand on their own. We need to bring our European troops home too.
Finally, I can't ignore the source of just about every problem in the Mid-East: Israel. You know, I'm sorry about the Holocaust and everything. We should have allowed more Jews to emigrate here. But man. They've had 60 years to find their niche, and they're still fighting their neighbors. They just can't get along. The Palestinians have been downtrodden for far too long. I'm not saying we should support the Pali's, but I think we need to re-think our support for Israel. Let the Israelis work it out with the Pali's and their pals. It's none of our business any longer.
As I look at the world, there are two kinds of countries: Countries who may need us but really, really don't like us, and countries who like us but really, really don't need us.
So in a nutshell, here is my plan: Bring back everybody. Every swinging dick. (Sorry, ladies. I lost my political correctness a long time ago.) Fold the Navy into the Coast Guard and keep them within eyeshot of an American coastline. Fold the Army and Air Force into the Border Patrol. Decommission every American military unit with a strategic mission. We're going to save a ton on military expenditures, and we'll be able to keep the homeland safe.
[/ reductio ad absurdum]
If it isn't obvious, I believe in exactly none of the above. We have a special place in the world: The one remaining superpower. I don't like being the world's policeman, but nobody else is going to bring stability to the world. Try for a minute to think through what the world would look like if we withdrew. You can just withdraw from Iraq, or you can withdraw from everywhere, and I end up at the same place: A world far less stable than before we left. I don't think that we're colonizing the world in our form. Rather, I deeply and completely believe that the liberty we far too often take for granted is something that everyone on this planet inately seeks. What we're doing in Iraq (and the rest of the world) is to offer them a chance at that kind of liberty.
The War in Iraq is central to the War on Terror. But don't take my word for it, and don't take George Bush's. Take Osama's.
The history of the last thirty years shows a steady escalation of Islamofacist actions against the West. In recent history, these actions have accelerated. Spain changed their government and withdrew from Iraq after AQ attacked their trains. The recent coup in Thailand was led by a Muslim General. France is in the middle of an intifada today.
The Democrats today are sporting seven or eight different ways to handle Iraq, but they all center on getting out. Getting out means giving up. And the Islamists aren't going to give up until we're defeated. Thoroughly. Not just in the Mid-East, but everywhere.
I apologize for the length, but as you can tell, I am passionate about this topic. If you've gotten this far and are interested in another lengthy and scary read, you can find one here. There are elements in this story that I wouldn't necessarily predict, but I'm afraid that if Democrats have their way, there will be far more truth here than most of us would like.