Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bruce Lee should still be alive, so he could kick Derb again

I'm a big fan of John Derbyshire, who I think is an excellent writer, and with whom I agree on many things. But he's got a comparison of Iraq to Vietnam right now, parts of which I think are utter nonsense.
Mission creep: No American thought, in 2003, that 3+ years of major campaigning in Iraq, with 130,000+ troops continutously engaged, and a running total of 2,500 deaths after that 3+ years, was in our future. No American thought that.

Poppycock.

Did anyone not think that there would still be a significant American troop presence in Iraq three years out? How many US troops are still in Korea? Germany? Japan?

Did anyone not think that casualties might approach the death toll from 9/11?

The fact is that the "major campaigning" in Iraq lasted about 8 weeks. At which point in time, the country needed to be rebuilt. That's the exercise we've been involved in for the last 3 years. Has it been different than what I, or anyone else expected?

Welcome to reality.

I am not speaking of the War on Terror — Rick Brookhiser was already telling me at about that time that he expected the WoT to go on for the rest of his lifetime. I'm talking about engagement in Iraq.

Iraq. Is. The. War. On. Terror. That's it. That's the major battlefield on which that war is taking place.

Americans can therefore rightly feel, in 2003, that our leaders have got us into a situation we never wished to be in, were never asked whether we would wish to be in, and therefore are under no moral obligation, as citizens of a democratic polity, to go on supporting the continuation of.

If you'd told me 3 1/2 years ago that in the spring of 2006, Iraq would have held democratic elections, Afghanistan would have held democratic elections, there would not have been another attack on American soil because we're killing the terrorists over there instead of dealing with them over here, and that the American military death toll in Aghanistan and Iraq combined would not yet have reached the official New York death toll for 9/11, would I have supported that? The answer to that is not only "yeah," it's "hell, yeah!"

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