“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” — CS Lewis
So it is that we find ourselves neck-deep in the entrails of Iraq. In September we went past the war’s 4 ½ year mark with an ever-so-slight decrease in military and civilian mortality, still high for the average September death toll. The current Administration continues to claim we are winning the battle and that pulling our troops out now is the only way to lose the war.
Today the Iraqi government is demanding that the U.S. turn over to them the Blackwater guards who killed 17 civilians on September 16th, for committing intentional murder. I have little expectation that the U.S. will turn over the guards, citing both Iraqi laws (which the U.S. demanded be implemented) and U.S. laws protecting the guards from prosecution in either country. The ensuing backlash could mark the beginning of the end of the war, but not in the way that the Administration speaks.
This could be a spark – a rallying cry – around which both Iraqi politicians and Iraqi citizens create something the Administration thought it had eliminated in 2003: An Iraq hostile to the U.S.; an Iraq unwilling to put up any longer with the tyrant that replaced the previous tyrant. It could also easily lead to something else: A Shiite majority, friendly to Iran, taking control of the country.
Boy will we have egg on our face then. I wonder what our military will do when backed into that situation. Leave, maybe?