August 25, 2005

Answers Are Something I Don't Have

Man, people like to poke fun at Big Media Matt for being basically a kid, or for going corporate, or what have you, but he writes some damn good stuff. Take this from Tapped. So though the tide seems to be beginning to turn, conservatives pretty much paint a rosey picture of what's happening in Iraq, the more conservative Democrats say that we could do the job properly if we had more troops there. Slightly less conservative Democrats think we shouldn't have gotten into Iraq in the first place, but that now that we're there we should put more troops in to do the job correctly, and then you've got the people that think we shouldn't have gone in in the first place and should pull out as soon as we can.

I've always been in the second to last camp. I didn't support the war when it was being sold to the country, but I have always thought that since we had already destabilized the country we should get ready for a full on occupation that would last something like fifty years so that we could stabilize the country enough to be a fairly Western-ized democrazy. Yglesias, however, seems to make a fairly strong argument for the proposition that we don't have nearly enough troops to truly stabilize the country even if we wanted to.

At the same time, I can't help but think that however bad it is there now, it's not going to get any better if we leave. Sure, a good bit of the non-native fighters would leave/stop coming across the border, but the country would surely collapse into complete annarchy. Whatever building blocks of a really crappy democracy they're got now would give way to full scale civil war between the various ethnic groups living there, and whatever government took shape after the war was over couldn't possibly be anything good.

Like I said in the title, I don't have any good answers for how to solve this problem. It's a lose/lose senario in the truest sense. All I can do is channel Drew: To all you people that voted Republican in the last several elections, this is your fault. Thanks a bunch.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget the people like me who don't give a shit what happens to that below 3rd world country and just wants everyone home, who have friends and someone they love getting shot at on a daily basis. Who's had all they can take of hearing how their soldiers best friend got their brains shot out, and it could have been them. Fuck Iraq is what I say. If they can't handle it themselves by now (and it's not looking like they ever will be able to) they never will.

Noumena said...

Well, my thesis is that reconstructions like that after the Civil War and WW2 show the way to rebuild a society that's been torn down from above is to pump it full of money. We could maintain a troop presence for the next 25 years and, without spending any more money than the bare minimum on things like rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure, the violence would continue.

Which, even more than the possibility of a violent insurrection, was what liberals wanted to see before the war started: why is the war necessary, and what steps are we going to take to rebuild the society afterwards.