Better luck next dictator
Camille Paglia answers a reader's email with cutting-edge liberal thought about Iraq:
You say that if we don't stay and win in Iraq, we'll be back there in 10 years. I think you might well be correct. The Iraq chaos, which we instrumentally helped foment, will probably spread and destabilize the entire Middle East -- a momentum that has already begun. By removing that despicable autocrat, Saddam Hussein, we conveniently did Iran's work. There's no stopping the jockeying of power now -- Iran eyeing Iraq's Shiite territories; Turkey ready to smash the independence movement among Kurds (who have been playing the United States for a fool).Call it the "pass the buck" doctrine: if we take less responsibility for fighting terrorism now, we'll be able to take less responsibility for fighting terror in the future.
But next time around, we will hopefully have the support of other powers in the region, such as Saudi Arabia (a corruption-riddled regime with strong Bush ties), which can't afford the implosion of Iraq. Meanwhile, the massacre of our hapless soldiers, along with the waste of billions of our tax dollars, must stop. There is no clear way to define "victory" in this folly -- which tried to jump-start Western democracy in a country with none of our long traditions of civil law or free speech.