Sunday, August 10, 2008

It’s a good thing I’m not the President

I just saw two stories on the same Yahoo cover page:

Iraq demands 'clear timeline' for US withdrawal

Iraq to revive oil deal with China

So the United States has spent how much money (let’s not even get into blood) on Iraq and now Iraq wants us to leave so they can sell their oil to China? I’m very much afraid that if I were the President, I’d pick up the phone, call General Petraeus, and tell him to start loading up the troops and sending them home. And I’d tell him I expect everybody out by Labor Day.

The truly maddening thing is that this outcome was so clearly foreshadowed. Within just a few months of our defeat of Saddam Hussein, there were Iraqis protesting against the United States in Iraq. My question then was, “What part of conquered nation do you not understand?”

But, of course, we never told Iraq it was a conquered nation. We told Iraq - and the rest of the world - that we were there to liberate the people of Iraq and set them on the path to self-determination. It sounded good and it was a noble idea. But the next time the United States decides to spend thousands of lives and God knows how much money liberating somone, I’d like more emphasis on our national interest and less emphasis on getting them back to dealing oil to the Chinese.

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