|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|Conversation With a Patriot
Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? Send a letter to the editor.|
|He is a lean man of sixty or so, vigorous but attenuated, successful but rather sour, a patriot.
Patriot: Where are we going to retreat to if we pull out of Iraq? To whom do we surrender?
Interlocutor: What do you mean, surrender? We won the war. We knocked Saddam out of office, dismantled his regime, destroyed what military capability he had. We’re not retreating or surrendering. Just leaving for home now the job’s finished.
P: What about Iran? If we leave Iraq, Iran takes over, controls the oil. They’ll drive up the price, destroy our economy. Their nukes will destabilize the entire region.
I: The Iranians are Persians. The Iraqis are Arabs. They hate each other. They’ve been fighting each other for centuries. In the eighties they fought an eight year, million casualty war and the best the Iranians could manage against the Iraqis was a stalemate. The army we bulldozed into the sand in the Gulf War and rolled over in days in ’03 held the Iranians at bay for eight years. Where’s the military threat in either? If the Iranians were dumb enough to try to intervene militarily in Iraq after we leave, they’ll be in the middle of the same civil war we’re in right now. That’s a luxury they can’t afford. Their economy’s already in the toilet, despite high oil prices. As for the Iranians destroying our economy, we’re doing the job ourselves far more effectively than they ever could by wasting trillions of dollars in Mesopotamia.
P: What about their nukes? A nuclear armed Iran can take over the whole region.
I: They don’t have a nuclear weapon and may never have one. They can’t even get their centrifuges to work properly. But if they do succeed in building a nuke, who cares? To use it is to court annihilation. To threaten to use it is to court annihilation. A terrorist can terrorize and then go hide in a cave. A state that terrorizes can be wiped off the map. But this is a country that couldn’t beat Saddam’s army, remember? The army we obliterated twice without even trying. The Iranians are no threat to anyone except themselves. Just like the Iraqis were no threat to anyone but themselves.
P: If we cut and run from Iraq, it’ll be a civil war, a bloodbath. The blood will be on our hands.
I: It’s already a civil war. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of Iraqis are getting killed every month, despite our presence. There are more than four million Iraqi displaced persons, refugees in their own or neighboring countries. Shia factions are fighting each other. They’re fighting the Sunnis, who also are fighting amongst themselves. Both Shia and Sunni are fighting the Kurds, who also fight each other. It’s a Hobbesian nightmare, a war of all against all. Who knows what the outcome will be? But our presence isn’t helping. It’s just making matters worse.
P: If we’re seen as being defeated, it’ll encourage the terrorists to attack us again. We have to stay until we win.
I: But we won already, remember? No more Saddam. And we were attacked by gangsters based in Afghanistan, not Iraqis. Chances are if we leave Iraq a new strongman will emerge and impose order. Or the place will split in three. Whatever happens the status quo is senseless and bloody and utterly futile and it won’t change as long as we’re there.
P: But where would we retreat to? And to whom would we surrender?
* * * * *
A NOTE TO READERS
There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and April 26th, 2007, nearly eight weeks. The reason: tech sabotage. Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire period. At one point, they even managed to lose all the files. In many discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming. No one seemed able to fix the problem. Ruling out the possibility of Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone since the beginning of March. A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer named Jason called. He had my letter before him. Though he couldn’t do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day. That was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first place.
The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo Geocities.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2008
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