Friday, January 22, 2010

That Why It's Called a Permanent War, Winston Smith

Andrew Sullivan isn't feeling hopeful about Iraq, neither its future chances for political reconciliation, nor the possibility that America will finally withdraw.  Given the complete paralysis in Washington, thanks to nihilist Republicans and cowardly, incompetent Democrats, I remain very doubtful that we will ever leave Iraq.  And thus the American Empire lurches needlessly toward oblivion.

Here's Sullivan's take:

So what do we see now?

Purging of key Sunnis from the electoral process, growing restiveness in Anbar, no solution in Kirkuk, and a population armed to the teeth and trained by the US for another round of civil war. And at that point, of course, the neocon right will insist on staying there for another five years, because the alternative is so awful. And we will have this discussion as frequently as we discuss how to reform healthcare and entitlements, with the same result: nothing will ever be done because the US system cannot agree on what should be done.

Maybe we can avoid this fate. Maybe Iraq's Sunnis can come to terms with a Shiite government. Maybe the Kurds can come to some deal over Kirkuk. Maybe the election can be rescued. Maybe. I sure hope so.

But doesn't this feel like a chapter from a text book on how empires implode? Paralysis at home, over-reach abroad, mounting debt, and the disappearance of any political center. And we remain trapped in mistakes we cannot undo and yet cannot abandon.

Until even the borrowed money finally runs out.

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