Wanna know my exit strategy for Iraq? Just leave. Get the fuck out. Go.
Now, I know, you’re all saying, “Dave, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. How can you call yourself a bleeding-heart liberal and not want to stick around to fix what those bloodthirsty republicans did to that poor, poor nation?” Well, I’ll tell you how – I just don’t give a shit. We fucked up, we lost, everyone already hates us – let’s just pick up stakes and ride out. Oh sure, I don’t mean leave here today gone tomorrow, but let’s get a seriously accelerated and real timetable for leaving. Something like, give the new government money to rebuild all the infrastructure we wrecked, maybe give some humanitarian aid, and then bolt.
“But Dave, those corrupt Iraqis will spend that rebuilding money on corruption!” So what? Fuck them. If they want to do that, so be it.
“But Dave, we went in there and tore up these peoples’ country and now you want to just abandon them to their own internal warring factions, complete lack of stability, and shit quality of life?” Yeah, that’s right, I kinda do.
“But Dave, what about spreading the goodness of Democracy?” What, our new-fangled version of Manifest Destiny? Give me a break. Is it really a “gift” if you have to give it with bombs and tanks?
“But Dave, what about our strategic role in the Middle East? How will we control our oil interests if we don’t have any presence there?” Easy, we don’t. Hows this trade sound to you: money and spilled blood spent on war vs. money and no spilled blood spent on alternative fuels. Not bad, right? I wonder if, over these past three years, instead of fighting this sham of a war, we’d taken the entire expenditure (some $340 billion dollars) and instead devoted it to developing a viable gasoline alternative – where would we be now? In fact, let’s talk about that last one a bit – partly because I know there are several large and obvious holes in it.
Just because you come up with an alternative fuel, it doesn’t end your need for gasoline. There’s a huge transitional period you’ll have to go through. OK fine, can’t we offset that too? I don’t know how much any of this would really cost, but I’d bet we could get creative with that $340 billion and not only develop a viable alternative fuel, but also help offset the gasoline-to-whatever transition in the places where it would hurt the most (like industry, shipping, etc.) I’m betting the $340 billion would fall significantly short, but it wouldn’t be a bad start. We could define the gas-to-whatever ramp with our own crude supply capabilities in mind, wean off at a rate we could handle entirely on our own reserves and active drillings.
We are industrious people. We built the best damn nation in the world from the ground up. You’re telling me that, were the world’s supply of oil to completely dry up, we wouldn’t be able to figure something out? You bet your ass we would. You’re talking about the nation that invents things like fast food drive-thru windows so we don’t have to get our lazy asses out of our cars to get our cheeseburgers, Segways so we don’t have to burden our legs with the act of transporting us around, and remote controls for ceiling fans. Trust me, we can figure it out. Now, back to the “But Daves.”
“But Dave, what about terrorism!! You want to just abandon that whole area and leave it the most fertile breeding ground for extremism and terrorism thought on Earth?” Terrorism-schmerrorism. As I’ve said before, terrorism is here to stay. Right now, it comes in the form of Islamic extremism, but it’ll always be around. Right now, it comes from the Middle East, but it’ll aways come from somewhere. In fact, in 2079 the United States may live in fear of hovercar plasma-nukings at the hands of the devoted followers of Martian God Bleepblork. People of 2079 will think back to quieter times when all they had to worry about was a 3,558,000 square mile bit of land on Earth with an extremely small number of extremists who were trying to kill us one airplane at a time with their sneakers and Gatorade. Yeah, what we call terrorism today will be some piddly nickel-and-dime ham-and-egger bullshit compared to what the legions of extremist Bleepblorkians will be capable of.
The here and now is always scary. But, much as we now look back in disgust on our “Jap”-interning days gone by, so will we eventually recall our outside-the-Geneva-Convention “hostile combatant” prisons. There will always be a new hotbed for hatred.
Anyway, there it is without my usual self-criticism and admittance of shortsightedness. Pick it apart in the comments. And we’re done with that.
Before I go, I wanted to say that I totally love the raw, unbridled anger in the latest comment on my (rather popular) iTunes is Crap entry.