If You Break It, You Own It

Gambling to Save Face on Iraq
Published on Sunday, December 24, 2006.
By Rodrigue Tremblay

“Naturally, the common people don’t want war … but it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.” Hermann Goering (1893-1946), SS Nazi leader

“Americans will speak of the battles like Fallujah. with the same awe and reverence that we now give to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.” President George W. Bush, November 10, 2006

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing but only after they’ve exhausted every other possibility.” Winston Churchill(1874-1965), former Prime Minister of England

Sometimes, when a snake tries to swallow a porcupine, it gets stuck in its throat and the predator has no choice but to spew it out. The neoconservative Bush-Cheney administration, under the pro-Israel Lobby’s influence, thought that Iraq would be an easy meal, to be savored while doing an easy “cakewalk”, in the words of neocon Ken Adelman: “I believe demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.” Now, the Bush-Cheney administration will spend the next two years it has left attempting to extricate itself from the morass they have brought upon Iraq and upon the United States.

According to departing U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan, the U.S. is ‘Trapped in Iraq’, and faces a no-win situation. This is reminiscent of what former Secretary of State Colin Powel is reputed have said to George W. Bush before the military invasion of Iraq: “If you break it; you own it!” How long and after how many more deaths will this Iraq quagmire last? The geopolitical consequences of having a country like the United States trapped in Iraq are enormous. The Iraqi conflict is turning into another Vietnam war-like fiasco. Already, the Iraq war costs more in nominal terms than the Vietnam war and 58 percent of Americans now believe that George W. Bush led them into a new Vietnam-like mess.

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