Monday, February 12, 2007

Is Iran next?

Before we rush off to the next Republican war, we should take a moment to think about the one we are in.

I suspect the claims of Iranian interference in Iraq are most likely lies, given the credibility of the people who are making those claims, and given the ongoing lack of evidence. But that is not and should not be the issue. The issue is that we have no business in Iraq in the first place, and, hence, should get out.

What is important to remember is that we have no legal or moral or national self-interest basis for being in Iraq. None.

We are engaged in a war now universally acknowledged to have been founded on lies. We are not defending our "homeland" from Iraqi aggression. Iraqis were not involved in 911. Iraqis had no weapons of mass destruction to threaten its neighbors, much less us. We are not bringing democracy to the Iraqis. We are not bringing them security, but civil war instead. We are not bringing them prosperity. We are not even securing a reliable supply of oil for our SUVs, as cynics believe is the true purpose of the war. (Oil is sold on the open market. If we somehow "secured" oil from one region, there would simply be more for sale to the rest of the world from other oil-producing regions. This isn't rocket science. This is economics 101.)

The latest, last, and least of reasons given by the Administration and its cheerleaders is that to leave Iraq would be "defeat" and defeat would harm our country. What crap. We were driven out of North Korea, and our country prospered. We were defeated in Vietnam, and we survived as a nation. And with regard to Vietnam, we obviously would have been better off never going there to start with, and, once we did go there, would have been better off leaving sooner rather than later. Nothing could be more evident.

Anyway, it follows from the fact that _all_ the reasons for going to war in Iraq were and are untrue, that we now have no justification--at all-- for being there at this moment.

It also follows that the Iraqis who choose to resist have a perfectly legitimate reason to defend their country against a foreign invasion.

We forget this. We have illegitimately (and, under international law, illegally) invaded their country, using outright lies as a pretext, and are now occupying it by force. People in any country, under such circumstances, might be expected to fight back. We would normally accord legitimacy to such resistance.

Except, of course, that ours is the invading and occupying force.

If they have good reasons to defend themselves against an invasion that no one now believes had any truth behind it, then presumably they would have the right to call on assistance from others. Whether various factions of the Iraqi civil war have done this I have no way of knowing.

I would be far less disturbed at learning that they did, assuming that the Administration and its servo-repeaters in the press are, God help us all, actually telling the truth at last--which I tend to doubt--than at the ongoing and daily injury our continued presence in Iraq does to our honor as a nation, to goodness and decency itself, to the harm it does to our own soldiers, and the even more tragic injury it does to the people of Iraq, when 650 thousand of them have already died in our war and no end of the carnage we have brought them is in sight.

And it increasingly looks like the only way out of this debacle the Administration sees is to march into Iran--citing, of course, provocations.

That's not much of a plan.

No comments: