"It is not hard to defeat Arab countries, but it is mostly useless. Violence can work to destroy dangerous weapons but not to induce desired changes in behavior," - Edward Luttwak, in one of his predictably stimulating essays.
Reading Luttwak, one is struck by the near-impossibility of getting "Iraq" to function as a normal society or country in any feasible time-frame. If we'd done it right, we'd still probably have needed 400,000 troops to keep order, and 20 years to build a real nation.
There's a truth here that is so big that the Little Man in the White House probably just doesn't get it. We went in and "defeated" the Iraqi army -- though I still say their vanishing act was pre-planned -- and we disposed of a dictator, but the result was certainly not victory. You might beat a man down for as long as you can keep your eye and your gun trained directly on him, but the minute you turn your back, he'll become your most bitter enemy.
The Iraqis didn't like Saddam, but what we've given them is much worse, and because we attempted to impose democracy at the point of a gun, all we've accomplished is to poison the minds of an entire nation against the concept of democracy and made the ravings of the mad mullahs a lot more attractive.
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