Paglia On Iraq

Absent some caveats, we agree again:

You speak of my party wanting to "choose defeat," while yours wants "victory." Is that stark opposition truly our only choice? Or has your party painted itself into a rhetorical corner with its polarized talk of victory and defeat? Isn't it possible that you have created a nightmare of words from which we cannot wake up? I don't regard the prudent preservation of American lives and treasure as a "defeat" but rather as a sensible acknowledgment of the reality principle. Not all of our desires, hopes, and ideals can come to pass. That is the human condition.

You say that if we don't stay and win in Iraq, we'll be back there in 10 years. I think you might well be correct. The Iraq chaos, which we instrumentally helped foment, will probably spread and destabilize the entire Middle East -- a momentum that has already begun. By removing that despicable autocrat, Saddam Hussein, we conveniently did Iran's work. There's no stopping the jockeying of power now -- Iran eyeing Iraq's Shiite territories; Turkey ready to smash the independence movement among Kurds (who have been playing the United States for a fool).

But next time around, we will hopefully have the support of other powers in the region, such as Saudi Arabia (a corruption-riddled regime with strong Bush ties), which can't afford the implosion of Iraq. Meanwhile, the massacre of our hapless soldiers, along with the waste of billions of our tax dollars, must stop. There is no clear way to define "victory" in this folly -- which tried to jump-start Western democracy in a country with none of our long traditions of civil law or free speech.