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Losing Iraq

March 9, 2013 - Harry Eagar
In The Washington Post, Andrew Bacevich, already well known for his skepticism about recent American foreign policy, declares we lost the Iraq War. Of course, RtO has been saying the same for years.

Bacevich puts the loss in the context of an unstoppable assertion of Muslims to determine their own destinies without interference from "colonialists."

"In what has become one of the most momentous stories of the 21st century, the inhabitants of the Islamic world are asserting the prerogative of determining their own destinies. Intent on doing things their way, they are increasingly intolerant of foreign interference. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington sought to revalidate an altogether different prerogative, one pioneered by Britain: an entitlement to meddle."

While I like almost all of what Bacevich has to say, I don't see it that way. What I see is an Islam that has never controlled its own destiny embracing a new form of the despotism that has marked all its history. At least, if in modern terms we mean by "controlling destiny" that the masses do it, then that isn't happening.

Islam is not modernizing.

The United States lost the war because it had no objectives. And because, even if had had, its leadership was incompetent. Perhaps also because no conceivable worthwhile objective could have been obtained, unless we had supported a free and independent Great Kurdistan.

Backing a Great Kurdistan would not have brought peace to the region, any more than backing Israel has. But it would have been compatible with democratic principles.


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