You’re a loser, too

Rich Lowry, who I usually think is one of the saner Cornerites, posts the following today:

“End the War in Iraq” [Rich Lowry]

That has to be one of my least favorite euphemisms. When Obama and Hillary say that, they mean “lose the war in Iraq.” There is no way to end American involvement in 2009, as Obama promised last night, without losing. Ultimately, we all favor ending the war in Iraq. The difference is that hawks — through defeating al Qaeda and the worst elements of the Shia militias, while creating sustainable security — want to end it on strategically favorable terms. And really end it — if we’re successful, there will continue to be a diminishment in violence. The Obama “end of the war” will lead to more violence in Iraq and the forfeiture of important strategic goals. Again, he’s not talking about ending the war so much as losing.

What Lowry fails to understand is that the hawks’ plan also loses the war in Iraq. The United States’ stated objective in Iraq was not “creating a violent situation, then tapering down said violence.” Instead, it was “creating a stable American-friendly democracy”. As the latter has no immediate chance of actually happening, and that even Lowry acknowledges this with his goalpost shifting, it’s fair to say that his favored plan also loses the war.

In this sense, both the liberal and conservative plans for Iraq both lose the war there. It’s just that the conservative plan to lose the war costs much more in American blood and treasure. It seems absolutely batty to favor the more pricey option to achieve the same result, but remember these are people who lack the mathematical skill to figure out that tax cuts decrease revenue.


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