Don’t You Want Your Country to Win?

Bill O’Reilly has been asking liberals whether they want the US to win in Iraq recently. Ignoring the question of whether or not it’s possible for us to win, my answer is a definite no. I don’t want to win in Iraq, because winning would be bad for both Iraqis and the United States.

First of all, in order for us to “win,” there has to be a government in place that is friendly to us. In other words, a dictatorship. Think about it. Every one of our Arab allies in the Middle East is a brutal dictatorship: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Uzbekistan, among others. The only three Arab governments that approach democracy are Palestine, currently controlled by Hamas; Lebanon, where Hezbollah has a majority in parliament; and Iran, which Bush apparently wants to nuke.

Winning would be bad for us, as well. The fact is that we are no longer the empire we once were. When the USSR fell, and no one needed us to “protect” them anymore, we lost a lot of international power. Now, we can’t to pump out manufactured goods as quickly as China, and soon we won’t be able to compete with India in technological industries. We are losing what was left of our international power quickly.

This is very similar to what happened to France and Great Britain after the Second World War. Their empires started to crumble. England decided to slowly let go of power, and the Brits essentially resigned themselves to not being a world power anymore. France, on the other hand, clung desperately to their colonies, and got walloped in Vietnam, Algeria, and their other colonies. Yet France still has an attitude that would be more appropriate for Napoleon’s era.

Now that we are losing our empire, we have two choices: accept our fall gracefully, like Britain, or fight it every inch of the way, like France. If we bow out gracefully, we can keep some of our stature and influence. If we don’t, we will be like France—annoying and ignored. If we lose in Iraq, maybe people will wake up to the fact that we’re not an empire anymore and will stop acting like we are.


1 Comment »

  1. You should listen to your Mama if you have a lick of sense left said

    How brutal is Musharaff? I’m quite sure he’s a dictator, but not completely convinced of his despotic nature; educate me, please. With you 100% on the rest.

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