Friday, August 20, 2004

Only Solutions Please

Sooo, TCS has posted a piece critical of the Iraq war. This kind'a caught me off guard coming from a conservative leaning web site, and the pieces points were better thought out than most. However, scratching below the surface we find the same old diatribes, just in a different color. Let's see what we got here:

So is Najaf really the right spot to be fighting Moqtada al-Sadr and his Shia militia? To fight, and possibly kill-either on purpose, by accident, or as a consequence of his own self-martyrdom--this new hero of the Shia, admired by 68 percent of Iraqis, according to a poll taken last May by the US government?

Now I must admit, this 'Iraq is hopeless' bit can get me down at times, and attacks from the right don't help. Only when it sinks in do I realize there's no 'there' there. Such as the quote above. Mr. Pinkerton fails to point out that only 2 percent of those sampled wanted to see him elected as president. Not only does this, no doubt, fall within the polls margin of error, but it also signifies wide, yet shallow support. I'm sure most of those polled said something along the lines of "Who? al-Sadr? Yeah, sure. He's great I guess". I'm reminded of the impeachment polls of Clinton, where most Americans came out against impeachment; of course the press never bothered to ask "Would you give a crap if he was?".

Mr. Pinkerton also points out that U.S. troops have a 10 percent approval rating, whatever that means. I would put forward the notion that the U.S. military gets that rating because it's not killing enough of the street goons that are making the lives of Iraqis miserable. As well, there's also this:

To be sure, Saddam managed to put down the Shia when they rose up in 1991. But in doing so, he killed an estimated 300,000. Are we ready to inflict that sort of carnage? If we did, how would the world think of us, and remember us? More to the point, how would the remaining 100+ million Shia regard us? And the billion or so Sunni Muslims in addition to them?

If you're so full of questions, how about asking why there was a Shia uprising in 1991 and why 300,000 of them were killed? Since Mr. Pinkerton worked as an aide in the first Bush White House, he should be well aware that Mr. Bush sold the Shia up the river. Excluding any other factors, it's amazing we're viewed as well as we are in that region!

And how about if I channel some Ann Coulter? What if the Shia did get cheezed? Why, they might highjack some of our planes and fly them into skyscrapers! Oh, nevermind...

Mr. Pinkerton faults Paul Wolfowitz for putting us into a box, but he fails to point out that the box existed well before Mr. Wolfowitz held so much (supposed) influence. Mr. Pinkerton's arguments fall apart at the same moment as his liberal counterparts: just what, exactly, does he (or did he) propose as an alternative to the current actions? Does he want Saddam back in power? It's within our ability to do that, are you sure? No? Well then STFU; most of the time, life isn't clean and we're left with only crappy and crappier solutions. It sucks, and I'm royally sick of thoughtless members of the intelligentsia bitching about the people who have the balls to make the tough decisions.

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