A Lethal Year
By Charley Reese
11/12/07 "Lew Rockwell" -- -- The pro-war crowd has been
emphasizing the recent drop in American casualties in Iraq,
measured by the month, but the fact remains that 2007 has been
the most lethal year of war for Americans, and it's not over
At this writing, 853 Americans have died in 2007, which tops the
previous record of 849 in 2004. Altogether, 3,858 Americans have
lost their lives in Iraq. The sad thing is that they are dying
for nothing, because the cowardly Congress refuses to stop the
war by cutting off the funds.
The administration defines "winning" as a stable, democratic
Iraq able to defend itself. That's really a definition of a
no-win war. The only way to establish stability with Kurds,
Sunnis and Shiites at each other's throats is to find another
dictator ruthless enough to force stability at the point of a
gun. In other words, you can have stability with no democracy or
democracy with no stability. Take your choice.
Either way, it is not worth the life of a single American.
It's time for the American people to face the question, "What's
in it for us?" That's not being selfish. It's our blood and our
treasure, so surely the American people have a right to expect
some gain for this sacrifice. So what is it?
The answer is nothing. The corporate friends of the Bush-Cheney
gang have gained plenty of profits, but they haven't shared them
with the dead soldiers. Or with the American people, for that
matter. Whether Iraq has a new dictator or becomes an Islamic
republic aligned with Iran, Americans will have no friends in a
country we wrecked while killing at least 100,000 Iraqis and
displacing 2 million more. It will be a long time before any
nonsuicidal Americans put Iraq on their places-to-visit list.
The Bush administration has been the most secretive and
deceptive bunch to occupy the White House thus far. The truth
is, nobody knows for sure what the motive for going to war
against Iraq really was. I read one theory that the neocons, the
chief proponents and pushers of the war, envisioned the
convicted embezzler and exile Ahmad Chalabi running the country
and making peace with Israel. If it's true, it was a pipe dream
based on ignorance. Nobody in Iraq who had suffered through
Saddam Hussein's rule was going to turn the country over to some
corrupt exiles who had been living the high life in London and
Regardless of why we went in, it's past time for us to get out.
The Iraqi people don't want us. As long as we stay, we will be
looked upon as occupiers, and the insurgents will keep whittling
away at our forces. Occupation cannot be sustained in a hostile
environment, and bribery won't change the way the Iraqis feel.
We have done the people of Iraq way too much harm for them to
There is no reasoning with President Bush. He's as likely to
attack Iran as he is to withdraw troops from Iraq. The only
answer is to pressure Congress to find the nerve to cut the
purse strings. There will be enough money in the pipeline to
safely withdraw the troops. Keeping young Americans in harm's
way when their lives and limbs will be lost for no gains is not
by any stretch supporting the troops. You support the troops by
getting them out of harm's way, just as Ronald Reagan did after
we lost the Marines in Lebanon.
Iraq may or may not have a bloody war after we leave. That's up
to the Iraqis. It's no skin off our nose whether they reconcile
or draw their knives. It's their country. Let them fight over it
if that's what they want to do. The Bush administration has not
done one single thing right in the Middle East, and the
situation in the whole area is worse and more dangerous because
of these blunders.
American withdrawal would be a blessing to everyone concerned.
Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years.
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