There’s an old joke about Hitler
’s last days. Hitler
is ranting about losing the war and says, “Next time, no more Mr. Nice Guy
!” In their desperation to try to hold on to what little support remains for an indefinite occupation of Iraq, right wing pundits are dusting off the excuses they devised for our failure in Vietnam, and are arguing that we aren’t winning in Iraq because our soldiers aren’t fighting hard enough, because they are restrained by some kind of gentleman’s code that prevents them from taking off the gloves and getting really tough. Ann Coulter
said it on Hardball
Tuesday and I heard Dennis Miller
say it as well.
COULTER: I don‘t know. I mean, I‘m not very savvy about PR. What I do know is that it would be a disaster if we pulled out. And maybe we could fight the war a little harder and not keep responding to Amnesty International...
MATTHEWS: More troops?
COULTER: I don‘t think we even need more troops. I think we need to be less worried about civilian casualties.
MATTHEWS: Who should we bomb in Iraq?
COULTER: The insurgent forces. I mean, we did in Afghanistan last week hit Taliban. And what do we hear in “The New York Times”? Amnesty is crying because some civilians were hit. Well, that happens in a war, and I‘d rather have their civilians die than our civilians die!
This argument is just a form of misdirection. Miller, Coulter and their ilk will never put the blame for the failure in Iraq on the parties responsible: Bush and Cheney. Ted Williams once wrote, “You can’t hit a bad ball good.” The invasion of Iraq wasn’t a good idea poorly implemented. It was a bad idea that was doomed to failure. Andrew Sullivan explains why we will never win in Iraq:
Without any coherent government, without sectarian reconciliation, this kind of thing will continue in the power vacuum. The U.S. military is doing everything it can, but it cannot perform miracles. In a country where there is no effective central government, and where the Iraqi security forces are captive to various sectarian impulses and restrained only by the patina of American force, bombings and mass murders will continue. We could stay there twenty years and, without a political solution from within, they would continue. The problem in Iraq is not that Washington somehow wants to pull out prematurely. It is that there is no credible scenario for improving matters if we continue to plow on.
Labels: Ann Coulter, Chris Matthews, civilian casualties, Hardball, Iraq