Thursday, September 22, 2005

The War is Lost

There is no more knowledgeable observer of the situation in Iraq than Professor Juan Cole and he is becoming increasingly pessimistic:

An observer in Iraq writes to me: "The situation has deteriorated in Baghdad dramatically today. Five neighborhoods (hay) in Baghdad are controlled by insurgents, and they are Amiraya, Ghazilya, Shurta, Yarmouk and Doura. It is very bad. My guys there report that cars have come into these neighborhoods and blocked off the streets. Masked gunmen with AKs and other weapons are roaming these areas, announcing that people should stay home. One of my drivers in Amiraya reports that his neighborhood is shut down totally, and even those who need food or provisions are warned not to go out.

An academic sent me this:

"Yesterday I talked with a 2nd Lt and West Point grad who has just come back from Iraq. He says flat out that the war is lost, that "we" only control territory when the troops are there in massive numbers and that "they" take over as soon as the troops leave, that the army is over-extended and morale is terrible -- drug use is escalating -- that there still isn't enough armor, that the Iraqi army and police are worse than useless, and that senior officers are convinced that it is Vietnam redux.

In the meantime, the embassy people act as if nothing in Baghdad is wrong (except that they cannot walk in the Green Zone without body armor and they have to take precautions against kidnapping). Recently, a group from State and the military parachuted in from Washington [with fatuous advice] . . . It is a fantasy world."

In 1967 noted historian and political activist Howard Zinn published a book called Vietnam--The Logic of Withdrawal. Recently he has come out in favor of withdrawing from Iraq in an interview with Raw Story.

We have faced the same situation in Iraq that we faced in Vietnam two years into the war, that some people began calling for withdrawal from Vietnam. And in fact I wrote the book, Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal which came out in the spring of '67, which was exactly two years after the war had begun. When I wrote that book, Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal, because it seemed evident by that time; it seemed clear by that time that this war was wrong, that it was immoral, and that the only proper thing to do was to get out of Vietnam as fast as possible.

The same arguments that were made then are made now. And what happened of course was that we did not get out of there. We did not withdraw for another six years, and in the course of that time huge numbers of people died. Today there is a timidity in our political leadership about calling for withdrawal. The farthest they can come in direction of boldness is the suggestion that maybe in the end of 2006 troops might be withdrawn.

But there is no major political leader who's calling for immediate withdrawal, and that's shameful. Because people are going to die as a result as the continuation of the war. And the same arguments that were made then at the time of Vietnam against withdrawal are being made now. "Well, we're in it too deep and we can't get out, our prestige will be hurt if we leave," it's sort of ridiculous.

The time to have declared victory and pulled our troops out was after the elections in Iraq. Now I fear that the best we can do is to admit defeat and leave. This will not happen soon, of course, but it will happen.


Blogger Michael said...

Professor Juan Cole wouldn't per chance be a liberal, would he? Most people in the academic world seem to be anti-American, secular, pro-communist, "I-hate-your-guts" left-wing nuts with no reason for existence except belly-aching, complaining, subverting children, praticing homosexuality, etc.

12:55 PM  
Blogger gary said...

"Practicing homosexuality?" Well, practice makes perfect. Do you always question the patriotism of people who disagree with you?

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

No, just their motives for being anti-American. If you don't like this country anyone is "free" to pursue their lives elsewhere. Many have chosen to do so, but to subvert the foundations of this country slowly over decades until it finally crumbles...? Optimism builds---pessimism destroys.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Prof. Hex said...

Yes, and Michael you are free to move to a country where questioning the government is discouraged. Try Cuba.

7:40 PM  
Blogger gary said...

Michael, you don't question the patriotism of dissenters "just their motives for being anti-American"? We are not anti-American.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous MICHAEL said...

Proffesor Hex (aka Fidel Castro) if you don't like America then leave it. It's YOUR dissent,not mine, that I'm writing about. People that are content with what America was are tired of you bleeting, negative moaners and groaners. We WERE content, YOU and your ilk were the ones DISCONTENTED. Use your own advice---GET OUT!!!!

2:46 PM  
Anonymous michael said...


Anyone that is anti-American cannot be an American patriot. It's as simple as that. Your either for America or you're against it.

2:48 PM  
Blogger gary said...

Thanks for clearing that up. I am pro-American and love my country.My father fought for this country in World War 2. Dissent is pro-American, particularly when it is against policies that are destructive to our country. If you disagree, fine but do not impugn my patriotism.

By the way, "bleeting" is not a word.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous michael said...

If you disagree, fine but do not impugn my patriotism.>>>>>

I fought for this country in Vietnam so don't get on my case about patriotism. I lived through those times when people like you were so paranoid about the government after the JFK murder that you took to hiding under your beds. The "booger" man was loose and the country went nuts.

By the way, "bleeting" is not a word.>>>>>>>>

Is that all you've got? If it is then your arguments lose their veracity. If I want to use “bleeting” or “booger” to make a point it only shows your lack of intellect in using your MS spell check to “correct” someone trying to make a point that obviously is over your head or you refuse to acknowledge.

6:53 AM  
Blogger gary said...

Let me just point out that I am not the one questioning the patriotism of people who disagree with me.

I was nine when JFK was killed but I am doing what I can now to expose the truth about his assassination. I consider it an act of patriotism.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

If you can ever wade through all the disinformation and BS put out by people on the government payroll, give me a call. I got into the JFK thing in the early '70's. There's no one stop shopping as to who did it. Jack stepped on too many toes for it all to point to one source.

I've got news for you---you'll never find the truth because it's been obscured to the point of invisibility. The people involved are dead, the witnesses were either killed or frightened to death, the evidence has been tampered with or destroyed.

There ARE people alive today who KNOW what happened but have a vested interest in not revealing that info. Even Teddy boy knows what happened, but won't open his mouth because he's a coward. GWB and his father KNOW what happened also.

Good luck.

10:49 AM  

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