Suffice it to say, the average Iraqi citizen has had a crappy deal from Bush’s Excellent Adventure (and that’s a macabre understatement). Courtney Martin, who unintentionally demonstrates the uselessness of ‘progressives‘ with a piece on the potential withdrawal from Iraq. It starts off well:
Iraqi citizens shouldn’t be the only ones infuriated by our military’s half-assed effort to rebuild a nation that we so righteously destroyed not so long ago. Americans should also be outraged. We should be fuming. This war was fought in our names, and now shoddy infrastructure and broken promises will be our legacy.
So far, so good. But then (italics mine):
We should be calling our political representatives and demanding that the U.S. military finish what it started in Iraq and implement a long-term plan for incorporating nation-building practices effectively and ethically….
We can argue the morality of wars, but as long as we keep participating in them, we must be committed to leaving them with dignity and integrity.
We? We are not participating them–there’s no draft. We are telling others to die for us. I googled Courtney Martin, and, as best as I can tell, she’s around thirty years old. According to her website, she likes “walking in Prospect Park.” Well, if she’s so damn eager to stay in Iraq, I suggest she walk to any one of a number of recruiting stations nearby and sign up.
It’s very simple: you don’t ask someone else to fight, kill, and die when you’re not willing to do the same. Issuing stern declarations from Brooklyn coffee shops is as every bit as reprehensible as issuing them from Charlie Palmer’s Steakhouse. Ultimately, the reason I opposed the Iraq War was that I didn’t think it was worth my life–and thus, I didn’t think it was worth someone else’s life either. And unlike some progressive useful idiots, I was under no illusions that an occupation could ever be done ‘right.’
Then comes something I have heard from some ‘progressives’ too:
The U.S. is slipping out of Iraq, base by base, soldier by soldier, not with a bang but with a whimper of unfulfilled promises and blatant denials. Sure it would be nice to just come home, as so many on the left have argued. No one wants our troops in Iraq any longer than is necessary. But what’s even worse than prolonging their presence is undermining their work thus far by asking them to leave a job shoddily and incompletely done. Our troops’ integrity — and that of the country — is at stake.
Basically, this means someone else’s son, husband, brother, will have to die so that you can feel good about yourself–for our sins, if you will. Well, guess what? You shouldn’t feel good. Ever. This was a catastrophic mistake–and entirely avoidable. Asking more people to die to salve your conscience only increases the cost of the butcher’s bill. Because what do you say to the last man to die for a mistake? Phrases like ‘integrity of the country’ hold very little meaning in that crucible. Because this is what it means to place “integrity” over human life–this is “what’s even worse than prolonging their presence”:
Bring them home. Bring them home now.