Have we won yet?

I remember when we won the Iraq war. When President Chimpy McHitlerburton stood on the deck of that aircraft carrier and said “Major combat operations have ended” That was it. That was the end of the war. What we've had since then is an occupation. 

(I wish people would keep these terms straight.)

It goes on and on, whatever "it" is. No one knows if we are winning or losing.  Perhaps this is simply for a lack of  metrics on which to base such a conclusion.

So what are those metrics? What is "Success in Iraq?" What are the "victory conditions?"

Is success when all the Iraqis convert to Christianity?
Is success where they have a western-style election with purple fingers and all? (But is it still a success if they use that freedom to vote for someone who really hates us, like Sadr? Yes? No?)
Is it a success simply if the area quiets down?
… what if it quiets down because it's been largely annexed by Iran?
… what if it quiets down because the Shiites exterminated all the Sunnis?
Is it still a success if it quiets down but we have to abandon all our "permanent" bases out along the Iraqi border?

So I guess there's this list of checkboxes. And once all these boxes are checked, we will have won the war/occupation/whatever-you-call-it.   What are those checkboxes and where does Darth Cheney hide this list?

Here's another question for you: is the order of these occurrences relevant?

I wonder if people may one day say, "you could say it was a success because there was peace after the occupation." Other people may answer: "well, I don't know how much of a success the occupation was since the violence only came to an end AFTER we got out! I wonder why that president kept us in there so long. You know, it's really too bad that Crazy Cheney blew Bush's face off during that quail hunt. Now we'll never know."

Who knows.  I mean, WTF is success in Iraq, anyways?

I'm just glad I don't have kids. I would hate to explain to them when they are teenagers the madness of King George, and to have to invent some lame-ass justification for why we all didn't rise up, grab our torches and pitchforks and march on that tyrant in the White House.  How embarrassing.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Madmouser
    Jan 31, 2007 @ 03:50:00

    I am glad you don't have kids too, Mr. Potty Mouth!


  2. Timmy!
    Jan 31, 2007 @ 07:11:00

    Yeah, well that's what happens when I write in the middle of the night. …there. All cleaned up. 🙂


  3. Schomer
    Jan 31, 2007 @ 09:58:00

    You know, that's a good question – about how people measure success.My short term checklist for success would include stopping shit from blowing up, and huge numbers of our troops getting killed.Beyond that though, my checklist is pretty far away into the future – 10, 20+ years from now, when we can look at Iraq and see a stable, free, and safe country.I think most people agree on what we are trying to do there – now that we are there. What I don't understand is the disagreement about how this thing is being run. I mean we are really getting our ass kicked in a number of ways by people who have no country, no collected military, little technology. It's amazing that the most advanced military in the world is having such a problem with this situation. And I think I have to point my finger at Bush and Rumsfeld on that one.


  4. Kimmers
    Feb 01, 2007 @ 19:57:00

    I whole-heartedly agree w/ Schomer's short-term checklist for success. Beyond that, I honestly don't care about the Sunnis vs. the Shiites vs. the Kurds vs. the Chaldeans… how are we supposed to solve their civil war? I also disagree w/ Schomer re: no military, no country, no technology. Before Bush the First ever went there, and under Hussein's rule, the Iraqis were quite "successful" in the terms we know. They had a thriving economy, roads, infrastructure, universities, degreed professionals, parks, spas, luxury hotels, etc. Iraq was doing just fine before we marched in to "get Saddam". Now, however, the damage is probably irrepairable, not unlike New Orleans post-Katrina.


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