Back to the Real War—Part 5
I took Margaret’s suggestion and read through Anthony Cordesman’s “litany of errors” in Iraq. There wasn’t much there that I could find to disagree with. And while we’re talking about useful on-line resources for information about the war, let me recommend the weblog Intel Dump by Phil Carter, a young attorney and infantryman who is now on his second tour of duty in Iraq. He has a review up of George Packer’s The Assasins’ Gate that poses some interesting questions.
But I am still left with a question: now what?
I’m willing to stipulate to the mendacity, incompetence and venality of the current administration. They misled the American people to justify going to war. As Cordesman details, they have made a stunning number of serious mistakes in planning and execution that have cost lives, both American and Iraqi. I hope that the President and his party are repudiated by the American people at the polls and that his administration will be excoriated by future historians.
But I’m still left with the question: now what?
I opposed the initial war for reasons that will come as no surprise to any of Commonweal’s readers. But once we had destroyed any alternative form of civil order except our own armed forces, I felt we had an obligation to stay and clean up the mess we made. But every time someone at my parish tells me that a child or grandchild is heading off to Iraq, I get angry all over again. Because the people who made the mess are not the ones that are having to clean it up.
And I still don’t have an answer to my question: now what?