Perspective

Lessons of the War

Tactics is merely
The mechanical movement of bodies . . .

After nearly nine years, about 4,500 Americans killed and 30,000 wounded and no one seems to know how many trillions of dollars it will cost in the end, the United States is finally doing what we should have done almost immediately, once we made the mistake of invading Iraq: cut and run.  We are leaving behind a devastated infrastructure, at least 100,000 dead Iraqis, a vast trove of monuments, art treasures, and documents destroyed or dispersed, but we never did find Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, which were the alleged cause of the invasion.

In leaving Iraq we are abandoning a country that we ruined: an ancient Christian population that is being ethnically cleansed from northern Iraq, looming conflicts between Kurds and Arabs, Sunni and Shia, and anti-Western and pro-Western Iraqis.  Although I opposed the war for months, even before we went in, the troop withdrawal, before any stable regime has been created, is a cowardly betrayal both of the Iraqis we subjugated and of the American, British, and Coalition troops who fought and died.

Many Republicans want to stay and finish the job, though what that job is no one seems to know.  First it was all about the WMDs.  Then the message came down that we were fighting terrorism...

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