Great post by Kevin Drum today. He defines the current breed of Iraq war defenders as Chaos Hawks. They originally were War Hawks (gung ho for the war) who transformed themselves in Pottery Barn Hawks (we broke it, we fix it) and now they’ve become Chaos Hawks because they say we’ll create chaos if we pull out of Iraq. Well, this is bull, says Kevin. Here’s an excerpt from his post:
Having admitted, however, that the odds of a military success in Iraq are almost impossibly long, Chaos Hawks nonetheless insist that the U.S. military needs to stay in Iraq for the foreseeable future. Why? Because if we leave the entire Middle East will become a bloodbath. Sunni and Shiite will engage in mutual genocide, oil fields will go up in flames, fundamentalist parties will take over, and al-Qaeda will have a safe haven bigger than the entire continent of Europe.
But this is nonsense, says Kevin:
Needless to say, this is nonsense. Israel has fought war after war in the Middle East. Result: no regional conflagration. Iran and Iraq fought one of the bloodiest wars of the second half the 20th century. Result: no regional conflagration. The Soviets fought in Afghanistan and then withdrew. No regional conflagration. The U.S. fought the Gulf War and then left. No regional conflagration. Algeria fought an internal civil war for a decade. No regional conflagration.
Pulling out won’t be pretty, he says, but if it’s done prudently neither will it be Armageddon. The sooner we figure this out, he says, the sooner we can leave Iraq. And he concludes:
Until then, though, our foreign policy will continue to be held hostage to a senseless war that does us no good. Al-Qaeda will continue to recruit and grow, Afghanistan will slowly slip away, a shooting war with Iran will become more likely, our military will continue being stretched and drained, and our country will become less and less safe. And all for nothing. It’s way past time for us to start formulating a sane national security policy for an age of terror. Leaving Iraq is the first step.
Great stuff. Well worth reading in its entirety.