The rules of my game, “I Accept Your Premise,” are simple. I am not going to argue against what Murtha said. I'm not going to say that Murtha is not a big thinker or question his emotional stability or claim he is an old sentimental man. For the purposes of this post I’ll accept what he said at face value and move on from there.
Murtha called for a pullout from Iraq because the war cannot be won. Here are actual quotes from Murtha taken from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Let’s be clear what we are talking about. After an invasion that lasted a few weeks with a historically small number of casualties on both sides; after less than 3 years of occupying a country of 25 million people; after sustaining less than 2000 combat casualties, the United States military is “broken” and “worn out.”
The U.S. Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand-to-mouth"
"They're barely getting by," said Murtha …
"We are not able to buy the equipment because of the cost of the war."
Translation: “The United States is not a superpower.” A superpower could handle the Iraq situation without breaking and wearing out and weeping. Here’s what this means for our allies and enemies.
- U.S. to the Iraqi People - "You'll be okay. Really. Some of you can look forward to being annexed by Iran. In five or ten years the civil war will slow down. Then the U.N. will come in and help you guys get back to maybe even a Third World level of subsistence. After all the U.N. has a long history of putting the well-being of the Iraqi people at the forefront of its agenda. It'll all work out over the long run. Look at Cambodia."
- U.S. to South Korea – “Good luck with that nuclear dictator, guys. We can’t help you. Maybe India can lend a hand or something.”
- U.S. to Taiwan – “We’re sure you’ll enjoy being part of China. It worked out so well for Tibet. We'll print some Free Taiwan bumperstickers.”
- U.S. to Japan – “Sure we spent 50 years telling you not to be a military power. That was then; this is now, baby. You better get up to speed fast because our troops over there are just decoration. How fast can Toyota switch to building precision munitions? By the way, love the new Civic. Sayonara.”
- U.S. to NATO – “Our troops throughout Europe are basically tourists. Like all American tourists, they’re just over there to drink your beer and chase your women. We aren’t going to defend you from squat. You might want to invest in prayer rugs and Arabic lessons.”
- U.S. to China – “You want to be a superpower, go for it. Knock yourselves out. It’s all yours. We’re done. We’re going home to watch football and have a few heart attacks. Maybe we’ll run into you when we fly to Thailand for bypass surgery.”
- U.S. to Iran and North Korea – “Whatever.”
- U.S. to Al Qaeda – “Uncle. You’re right, we can't handle casualties. It's just like bin Laden said, the American military is a paper tiger. Now you know that after you overthrow Saudi Arabia and execute the Saudi royal family, we won’t invade to secure the oil infrastructure . We’ll pay whatever you tell us for the oil. Hey, if you play your cards right you can even get a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Maybe one of your envoys can help oversee the rebuilding of what is left of Iraq.”
- U.S. to Israel – “It was fun while it lasted. It was really nice knowing you. When the dust settles and the smoke clears we’ll build a lovely monument to your memory. Shalom.”
If we don’t have the capacity and/or the will to occupy Iraq, what deludes anyone into thinking we can handle a war on the Korea peninsula? Or an attack on Japan or Taiwan? If we can’t manage Iraq, how could we ever deal with Iran? If the military is broken and worn out after Iraq then we aren’t a true superpower. We just play one on TV.
At best we’re a 3 Week Superpower every 10 years. We will kick-ass and defeat anything as long as it doesn’t take more than 3 weeks, once every decade. Then we get tired and distracted and a little teary-eyed. After Iraq we’ll be exhausted so the world shouldn’t expect anything from us until at least 2015. More like 2020. If anything happens between now and then, you guys are on your own.
So much for the “American Empire”, huh? Apparently, if you want someone to make a movie about your nation’s genocide, give us a call. We can’t make any promises but we’ll read your screenplay. If you want someone to make a meaningful military and political commitment to spreading and defending democracy, you should probably look at other options. I hear the Riders of Rohan are pretty tough.