Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Legacy

"No water, no electricity, no security"("Militants Show Might, Striking in 13 Iraq Cities", NY Times, August 26, 2010). With insurgent shows of force seemingly everywhere, with the dead strewn about, with the government in disarray, we must take a hard look at what we are leaving behind in Iraq. Is this what Operation Iraqi Freedom can claim as its legacy? Is this what we spent all those years, all that money and all those lives for?

The insurgents spoke with an exclamation point as they proclaimed that they were still able to produce the kind of damage to body and mind we had long tried, and failed, to eradicate. History will have a hard time looking kindly on what more and more appears to be a lost decade in Iraq.

As we now focus on the continuing struggles in Afghanistan, with the rampant corruption in its government and our disastrous efforts to destroy the insurgency, one village at a time, we ask what have we accomplished in this region of the world. The answer is very little and at a very great cost to our standing in the international community, to the economic well being of our own country, to the opportunities wasted on our own soil and the lives lost or irreparably damaged abroad. We have been chasing a mirage, creating a picture we wanted to see that never existed, and never had a chance to exist. Not a fighting chance.


Robert said...

This is one of your better, thoughtful and very cogent pieces.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone realize that the tactics of the Taliban, is to keep us in Iraq, draining our economic resources, til we have a financial meltdown or are we having that already ??