An anonymous Corner reader is trying to make poor Jonah Goldberg feel better about the Iraq War. It's a bit like watching a pig get fed on latrine waste, but without the moral uplift.
This ministering angel offers four points, each of which is quite literally more deranged than the last.
The Iraq war was not a mistake. It is easy to forget in the spectacle of watching the Iraqis butcher each other trying to build a stable government, but much was accomplished with this war:That's setting the bar pretty low. Hell, I'll give a shiny new penny to anyone who can name a country that is not, "potentially at least," a threat to the United States.
1. The toppling of a regime that was a constant threat to its neighbors and, potentially at least, to us.
2. Removing the Iraqi threat allowed us to move our troops out of Saudi Arabia. The US presence in the Kingdom was the #1 motivator for Bin Ladenism, and the long term benefits this will have after Iraq are hard to calculate but will no doubt be significant.In other words, we had to invade Iraq, depose a secular dictator, and create a fractious Islamic republic so that we could appease Bin Laden by closing the Prince Sultan Air Base. I must say, I'm amazed Bush didn't just come out and explain that in the first place.
Perhaps we could strike a further blow against "Bin Ladenism" by giving the Palestinians control of East Jerusalem?
3. Worst possible case scenario, we retreat to Kurdistan. No matter what happens in Greater Iraq, the liberation of the Kurds and the implantation of a nascent democracy there is a genuine success.The Weimar Republic was a "nascent democracy" too, but few people would call it a genuine success. Anyway, what happens in "Greater Iraq" from here on out could certainly affect the viability of a Kurdish state. And unless I'm mistaken, Turkey has some rather strong opinions on the subject of Kurdish autonomy, as do Iran and Syria.
4. Also in the worst case scenario, we retreat not only to Kurdistan, but also to Kuwait. The virtual military encirclement of Iran will remain, and that is important. An encircled Iran, even with a nuke, is a far different scenario than the opposite.This sounds an awful lot like the strategery formerly known as containment, the moral idiocy of which was tirelessly denounced by the PNAC's mouthpieces in the run-up to the invasion.
I'm accustomed to feeling ideologically disoriented in George W. Bush's America, but nothing so far has prepared me for the proposition that invading Iraq was a Good Thing because we can retreat to Kuwait (where we've had a strong military presence for fifteen fucking years), "encircle Iran," and keep a watchful eye on any nukes it might develop.
In case you're wondering, this outlandish babbling did indeed cheer Jonah up, and will probably comprise a conservatarian article of faith by morning.
Assent, and you are sane;(Painting by John Zeigler, via Thrift Store Art.)
Demur,—you’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.