Pulling Out Is Hard To Do


Here it is, another Memorial Day.  For a change, I’d like to turn on the news and see more dead televangelists than dead soldiers.  Alas, as I’ve been reminded constantly for the last forty years, You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

The news coverage lately has focused on Congress wanting to pull the financial plug on the Iraq War.  If our national polity were a sitcom, we would find out that Mr. Bush doesn’t know how to balance his check book and the nosy neighbors, Mrs. Pelosi and her dullard husband/submissive, Mr. Reid, have decided to teach him a lesson.  The episode ends with everyone hugging and countless lives being saved.

Or not.

It does remind me of a class I took about the Vietnam War.  Back in the mid-Eighties, many people looked at the Rambo movies as having the same historical gravitas as a Ken Burns documentary.  Every single guy in the class was about to be commissioned as an Army officer, and had to take the class as part of the required course of study.  Many of these guys had fathers who fought and/or died in Vietnam.  The professor was a unrepentant West Coast leftie who delighted in bursting the preconceived notions of his students.

The inevitable clash of cultures happened on a daily basis in the classroom.  Most of these guys were either business or physical education majors.  Having to think on their feet while arguing was not something they were prepared for.  Mostly, they had to memorize laundry lists, bullet points and bold-faced glossary terms in their fields of study.  It was like they had trained to fight a mechanized infantry war in Europe, but wound up fighting a guerilla insurgency in South East Asia.  But, I digress.

The debates in class would go something like this:

Student:  We would have won that durn war if’n the politicians in Congress had let us.

Professor:  How did the politicians stop us from winning the war?  Didn’t they control the military’s purse strings?  How exactly did Congress prevent the troops from “winning”?

Student: [Angry denunciation of the material covered in the textbook.  Change of subject to something like, say, the US won every battle it fought.]

Professor: [Sarcastic Inquiry as to where the student came about his facts and if he could find a source that substantiated any of his claims he should let us all know about it.  Completed the quote about US battlefield victories by saying, “That may be true, but it is also irrelevant.”]

Student:  That’s not how I heard it?

Professor:  Who did you hear it from?

Student:  Um, my dad told me it was all Congress’s fault.

Professor eyes roll 

Me:  Funny, I heard it was your dad’s fault we lost.  (I could be a jerk back then.)

So, here we are decades later and looking at the same argument.  This same guy who got all pissed off in class is now a Major or a Lt. Colonel.  He will be able to tell his children that the reason we lost the war in Iraq is that Congress wouldn’t let us finish the job.  No amount of fuzzy-headed college professors will prove him wrong.

We need to find a way to get out of Iraq with the least amount of bloodshed.  Here’s my plan.

We offer Muqtada al-Sadr and whoever else can’t play nice over there a huge sum of money.  If there is anything those folks respect it is filthy lucre.  Let’s say ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS! They get the cash deposited in a Swiss Bank account if they refrain from violence for six months.  That means their whole group and any other affiliated groups.  It brings a level of peer pressure to the whole affair.  If you know that Khalid’s little scheme of car bombing a market is going to cost you a giant pile of cash, you may be motivated to stop Khalid.  They don’t get a dime until the six months is up.  Any acts of violence in their sphere of influence that goes down before the six months is up, starts the clock all over again.

This will give us time to get the country up and running, with a semblance of stability and the ability to claim victory and get out.  Once we are gone, they can go back to killing each other.  As is the tradition of their One True Religion Of Peace.   Let those fuckers go ape as soon as the last American plane is wheels up and headed West.

So that we don’t wind up funding terrorism, we either Welsh out of the deal and leave them with nothing (and like it) or we scam them out of the money by selling them a bunch of defective weaponry through third parties.

If it means fewer families have to learn what Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori means, so be it.  I’m pretty sure that’s what Memorial Day is supposed to be about.  Not only is it what this country wants, but what it needs.


2 Responses to “Pulling Out Is Hard To Do”

  1. sgazzetti Says:

    I could be a jerk back then

    Still trying to figure out what THAT means.

    I hate to say it, but I think your cockeyed little scheme just might be crazy enough to work.


    We set up a WordPress account for Muqtada and tell him to start blogging. Then we tell him that for every WAV file he embeds in his posts ranting against the infidel, we’ll up the Swiss bank account ante. Before you know it he’ll be so busy Googling Rodney Dangerfield and Bobcat Goldthwaite that he won’t have TIME for any car bombing. Think we can Pelosi behind it?

  2. Exador Says:

    “It was like they had trained to fight a mechanized infantry war in Europe, but wound up fighting a guerilla insurgency in South East Asia. ”

    Isn’t this the heart of the political problem? I believe that the military (not undergrad students, but guys with some experience) DO know how to fight a guerilla war. The problem lies in that the rest of US society STILL thinks that all wars “should” be like WW2, AND the inherent problem that a guerilla war drags on for much much longer.

    Look at all the hoopla when we passed the mark where we were “in Iraq longer than WW2”.

    If you look at some of the civil wars in Africa, they go on for decades and decades. It’s the nature of the business.

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