This is a perfect example of the up is down, left is right, black is white type of thinking from the American political left these days.
The United States has lost the war in Iraq, and that’s a good thing.
I don’t mean that the loss of American and Iraqi lives is to be celebrated. The death and destruction are numbingly tragic, and the suffering in Iraq is hard for most of us in the United States to comprehend.
The tragedy is compounded because these deaths haven’t protected Americans or brought freedom to Iraqis. They have come in the quest to extend the American empire in this “new American century.”
So, as a U.S. citizen, I welcome the U.S. defeat for a simple reason: It isn’t the defeat of the United States – its people or their ideals – but of that empire. And it’s essential that the American empire be defeated and dismantled.
The author’s premise is that President Bush is seeking to establish an empire based on the control of oil.
The United States doesn’t want to absorb Iraq or take direct possession of its oil. That’s not the way of empire today; it’s about control over the flow of oil and oil profits, not ownership.
In a world that runs on oil, the nation that controls the flow of oil has great strategic power. U.S. policy-makers want leverage over the economies of competitors – Western Europe, Japan and China – that are more dependent on Middle Eastern oil.
Only half of this is true: the control of oil does grant strategic power over oil dependent nations. However, if the U.S. invasion was solely about control of oil, then the easiest way to ensure such control would have been to embrace Saddam and to leave him in power. Removing the sanctions would have been the easiest, safest way politically for George Bush to guarantee a steady supply of oil from Iraq.
The author then goes on to equate our leaving Iraq with admitting defeat. “When we admit defeat and pull out – not if, but when…” As if the only way we will ever leave Iraq will be as a defeated colonial power. Instead, I think when our troops leave Iraq–and they will leave Iraq–they will do so, not because they were defeated, but because they were victorious and because democracy has been established in Iraq. Then, we will leave because we will have then created in Iraq a liberal, democratic government, one which respects its people and the rights of its people. And that is something that Iraq under Saddam never had.