Monday, June 29, 2009

Fading Away

My understanding is that as of tonight the U.S. maneuver units will be permanently relieved of the task of policing the mean streets of Baghdad, Ramadi, Kirkuk and every other town and city in Iraq.

This seems to have been very popular with most Iraqis.

Now that we have achieved the "mission accomplished" dream of the Bush presidency; our Iraqi Shia allies are in place, ready to make further arrangements with their other allies in Tehran, the Israelis are even more hostile and paranoid than ever, Hezbollah has been awarded the Starbucks franchise for south Lebanon and all the Maliki grandkids have brand new Hummer H3s courtesy of U.S. AID...can we make EVERYbody happy and quit fucking around in south-central Asia now?Was there really a time when we thought we could "make our own reality"? That with our tiny, undermanned colonial-period expeditionary force we could reshape the lands of Asia without butchery at a genocidal level? When we dreamed the dreams of the Caesars with the army of Marlborough and de Saxe, the political hardheadedness of Jefferson Davis and the economic discipline of Lindsey Lohan?

And now the dreamer wakes to the cold light of a cheerless dawn.


Pluto said...

I know the main thrust of your post was that we overextended ourselves in Iraq and the 'Stans, but I'm pretty cheerful about this development, Chief.

But then I've always been a big fan of declaring victory in Iraq and running for the border before all Hell breaks loose. Now let's do the same in Afghanistan and go home!

FDChief said...

Pluto: You're right, of course. This needed to happen, and sooner is better.

It's just as a GI, it's a very bitter feeling to see the Iraqi's joy and know that my brothers' were tricked and lied into spending six years fighting for a chimera. We should have done this in the summer of 2003 (hell, we never should have been there at all..) before the half decade of ruin and merciless hatred.

sheerahkahn said...

Well, our combat units maybe "redeploying" to "other" areas, but in my honest, and rawest opinion...if we still have one (1), ichi, uno, eins US uniform in Iraq we're still hugging the Iraqi tar baby.
Aus mits un!

Rick98c said...

But the MN Guard has a huge unit over there in the former Brit sector, and another huge troop deployment on the way soon... so while leaving the cities is a step in the right direction, if all hell breaks loose there will be a push to go back in, lest someone have "died in vain." They are still pushing stories of parents of the fallen talking about how much their son/daughter "believed in the mission" and that we are "so close to victory" that we just can't stop now... etc etc... Even NPR trots one out every week or so.

So what does it all mean? What with the new push in Afghanistan and all.... continued unending deployments for anyone with the temerity to put on a uniform. Stoploss still in effect in some ways last I heard.

Just so incredibly depressing.

Despite that, my years of military immersion still leave me feeling vaguely guilty for not being there.

Lisa said...

As I contemplate the absurdity of the endeavor, and the equally absurd prospect that we might go back in should/when turmoil arises, I hear a rising chorus in the background, courtesy man of La Mancha:

"To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go"

Go red-white and blue! Hoorah!


J. said...

"Was there really a time when we thought we could "make our own reality"?"

Absolutely, wasn't in those idealic years of the 1980s when our govt thought it could run the Middle East (Iraq/Iran, Lebanon), SE asia (philipines and Korea), Grenada/Cuba, and Central America all at the same time? Notably, it didn't turn out so good, but heady days for the administration.

FDChief said...

Sheerah: I'm afraid that the break won't ever be that clean. We've bought and paid for our Maliki and will have a stake in him long after it makes any geopolitical sense. He's our Batista, our Marcos, our Shah. Bad cess to us for it...

Rick: I understand...and yet, do you think that the guys in the 101st, who fought and died over worthless Hamburger Hill in Vietnam, feel like their friends' sacrifices were worth it?

I love my Army, but this is one I'm glad I sat out.

Lisa: The one thing the Founders didn't plan for was a public immersed in magical thinking. IF we just BELIEVE that we can win we'll get a victory parade. And a pony.

We had puttest down our breeches and given the rod to our enemies.

J: It's really frustrating, the degree to which we've glossed over the futility of those silly military capers. But it sure helps the groundlings clap along with the song, eh?