The battles between the Sunnis and Shiites will presumably degenerate into a civil war if and when the U.S. pulls out of Iraq — the hatreds have been exaggerated, not calmed, by our presence there. People have been driven out of their homes by the alternative version of Islam. The country is in a mess. People are mixed between wanting us out and keeping us there to moderate the daily violence. No war has been more disastrous than this one in its consequences. And then there are the Kurds, too, at war with Turkey.

With the flooding disaster of Pakistan, we have no ally there with which to cope with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Petraeus is kidding himself that he can with limited troops and massive costs now halt the Taliban assaults. We shall be seeing only more innocent people being killed there by the Taliban and us. Needless to say Karsai is a crook:

Graft-Fighting Prosecutor Fired in Afghanistan
Published: August 28, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan — One of the country’s most senior prosecutors said Saturday that President Hamid Karzai fired him last week after he repeatedly refused to block corruption investigations at the highest levels of Mr. Karzai’s government.


As the last officially designated American combat forces left Iraq, television cameras caught the exultation of a soldier finally heading home.

“We won!” he yelled. “It’s over! America, we brought democracy to Iraq!”

Which naturally raises an intriguing and provocative question: Did we win? Seven years later, after all the spilled blood, after all the roadside bombs and sectarian strife, after all the terror and torment, did the United States actually win the war in Iraq?

The soldier was right in that the United States deposed a dictator and brought democracy to Iraq — a rudimentary, still-in-progress, somewhat dysfunctional democracy that has yet to seat a government nearly six months after an election, but a democracy nonetheless. And certainly it looks more like victory than it did just three years ago in the depths of the devastation before the American troop surge and the Sunni uprising against Al Qaeda in Iraq.


The only final word here is imagine the Republicans replacing Obama and most Democrats who care about those who are suffering even though our economy has no extras with which to help much. It looks as though an apocalypse is closing in on us.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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