Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sure, I want us to lose.

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First, no durable good outcome is likely. The sooner we recognize the futility of the effort the better. Japan would have been better off had it lost in 1944 instead of 1945. The U.S. would have been better off it had recognized that South Vietnam was not a viable nation in 1968 instead of 1975.

Second, I want the sole author of this war, George Bush, to have to face the failure of his policy on his watch. Why should a successor administration have to cope with it? If the roof is going to fall in anyway--and it is--then let it fall on Bush. This war was his choice. Not ours, not Iraq's, not history's. George Bush's. Let him take responsibility for failure, as he over-eagerly took credit for ...more »seeming success two years ago.

What Hitchens fails to see is that our freedom of moral choice is not foreclosed by Bush's fait accompli. Like Hitler, who deliberately started a war in Europe to force Germany onto the path of its "destiny," Bush and his coterie engineered an illegal, immoral and unnecessary war in Iraq to enshrine neocon ideology in American foreign policy. Would you agree that patriotic Germans in Hitler's time were morally obliged to support a war of conquest they knew was wrong simply because the Fuhrer had irrevocably committed their nation to it? Not likely. We now honor the few Germans who continued to resist the madness, like Stauffenberg, Bonhoeffer, and White Rose. So, too, we have the right and the duty to continue to oppose this war because of its conniving, mendacious, aggressive provenance.

The mere fact that American and Iraqi lives are at stake does not turn the evil policy that created that risk into a good one. The risk, and the deaths, are Bush's doing, not ours. Unlike Bush, I showed up for my war. I fought. I had no illusions in 2003 what war meant. Bush and his cronies did. Let them, and the spineless Congress that laid down for them, take responsibility for their failure. And let them take it soon.