Losing

This article on Slate is pretty good. I was thinking about the last of the four assumptions it lists the other day, while working through my Greek flashcards. We have lost the war – well, lost the occupation, let’s say. And normally, when one loses a war, the winner sues for peace (which, in a guerilla war like this one, doesn’t happen) or the loser withdraws from the field. The last has obviously not occurred. More and more troops get thrown in the maw. We are just sitting in an endless stalemate with heavy attrition. If we didn’t have such a high investement in winning – in dispelling the ghosts of Vietnam or whatever – at “victory,” if such a thing could be wrested from Iraq, which depesrately needs to be partitioned, diversity be damned – then something good might be possible.

What the article doesn’t say, or at least explicitly, is that Obama and McCain are both in a position where they could say these things out loud and get away with it. Obama has apparently limitless youth and charisma to spend. McCain has war hero status. Their shuffling around is embarrassing. Politically astute – they know the war will not end while Bush is still in office, no matter what anyone says – but shameful nonetheless.

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