Anyone familiar with my official site for the last few years know that I have been a strong opponent of the Iraq War. Since I am unable to do all the research necessary, I have depended on some phenomenal bloggers and intellectual giants such as William f. Buckley Jr. Along the way, my thinking has been shaped more and more around Libertarian thinking, as expressed by the honorable Ron Paul and the great scholar R.J. Rushdoony.
Establishing arguments contra war has not always been as easy as it is today. Nowadays, the most fervent war-supporting Republicans have begun to express serious doubts about the president’s war policy. After all, when the ship has been sinking for so long, even the crew will jump, though their captain may wish to die honorably. Of course, there are still those who will die on their loyalty graveyard. They will fight to the end though they may feel their fight is more about status than morality. They will fight to the end at the expense of other children’s blood, not their own.
These die-harders still claim that we need to stay until “victory” is accomplished; “victory” of course, is never defined. This is why I am glad Dan Phillips continues to write stimulating blogs that forces neo-cons to truly define their terms. Dan Phillips argues that supporters of the war will constantly use phrases like “we cannot leave until we achieve ‘victory;’ or “we cannot cut-and-run because that will mean that we have surrendered to our enemies.”I must confess that though I have believed for very long that the concept of “victory” in the lips of neo-cons is always destined to failure, I have not challenged what exactly they meant by the idea and how irrational it really is. Dan Phillips emerges to challenge and reveal the absurdity of it all when he poses these questions:
Does victory mean toppling Saddam? Done. Does victory mean ensuring Iraq doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction? Done. Does it mean a stable and Western style democracy in Iraq? Good luck with that. Does it just mean a stable but perhaps not democratic Iraq? Good luck with that as well. Does it mean modernizing and westernizing all of the Middle East? Does it mean stamping out all vestiges of “Shari’a-observant Islam” or more crudely put, wiping out “Islamo-fascism.” Most War on Terror supporters I have talked to cannot give a coherent answer. Instead they resort to talking points and boiler-plate accompanied by foot-stomping and eye-rolling.
The level of political discussion began with talks about WMD’s and now they have turned to “we must not leave, though we admit the war was a mistake.” What keeps us in Iraq is the stubbornness and unconstitutionality of a president who still has not given a definition of “victory” without changing his mind a month later.
Imperialism never admits failures; they persist because as Ron Paul has mentioned time and time again: “War is the health of the state.” If the imperial endeavor ceases, the state then ceases to control your money and your lives. If the state continues to wage war, then your life is back in their hands. So, what is victory anyway but the unstable and rhetorically mindless meandering of tyrants.