THE BLOG
05/02/2007 07:39 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Republicans Don't Even Want to Win This War

If you really wanted to win this war (whatever the hell that means), you could put some real effort behind it. Twenty to thirty-thousand more troops? Who are the Republicans kidding? If you really thought we absolutely, positively had to win this war, you'd start a draft and put a million guys smack dab in the middle of Iraq.

Were we having questions about surges or drafts in World War II? No, we put on our boots and went to kick some Nazi ass. Why aren't we doing that here?

Because the Republicans are full of shit. They don't really think this is an "existential" war. What a laughable thought. What, if we don't win in Ramadi, we're going to cease to exist here? Why aren't these guys laughed out of the room already?

Here we are negotiating with contemptible fools. How much of a surge would you like? How long would you like to stay? Oh really, you think the Iraqis might take over Cleveland if we leave?

"They are going to follow us home." John McCain says this. God, remember when John McCain was a man. He was a damn hero, a patriot and as honest a guy as you could find in politics. Where have all the heroes gone?

If John McCain and Bush and the whole Republican Party thought they were actually going to follow us home - that the Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis would get on a boat, come here and fight us in San Antonio and Detroit and Boca - they'd start a draft in a second. And so would I.

If we had a real existential war and we would be taken over if we lost, who wouldn't fight? Really, Iraq is going to take us over? Come on, who but a contemptible fool would say something like that?

This war has always been optional. And at this point, winning and losing (when someone figures out what those mean by the way, please let me know) is completely optional. How would your life change in Minnesota if we "lost" the Iraq War? Not one bit. Not even one percent of one percent difference. You couldn't tell the war was over on a bet.

This is not to argue that what happens in Iraq is irrelevant or that "losing" is equal to "winning." (What the hell would a win look like? How would we know if we won? Doesn't it drive anyone else crazy that Bush doesn't even provide an explanation of what victory is, let alone an exit strategy?) It is to argue that the war was a leisure sport for the Republicans. They thought they'd just go hunting for a little bit, then come home and sip some brandy. They never thought it would make a difference.

Existential? Please! If you thought it was that important, you would do everything in your power to win, not just half measures. My God man, Sacramento is in jeopardy, get some troops to Iraq.

They started a war for shits and giggles. So, Bush could have Saddam's head on his wall. They treated this like it was a game all along. Now Bush is sore that he lost. He's like a kid that loses a game to 11 and insists that you play up to 15 instead.

So, are you going to cowboy up and start the draft? Of course, not. You know that if we all had to send our kids to fight in this completely optional war, it would be over in about five seconds flat. (God, doesn't that make them lose sleep at night, knowing for a fact that they wouldn't send their kids over, and yet they send other people's kids to die for their intellectual adventures and political romps. Have they no conscience at all?)

Bush won't even raise taxes to collect the money he needs to fight his lousy war. He doesn't even care enough about this "existential" war to trouble his friends to chip in a couple of extra percentage points off their investment portfolios.

We should all be embarrassed at what we have done. The intelligentsia in this country blithely lobbied for this war because they thought it might an interesting thought exercise. And now they criticize it comfortably from their dens as if they never supported it in the first place. I fought against it tooth and nail from the first day - and I know a lot of you did. But we should have done more. We let them soil the earth in our name. Now, we sit and have academic debates about how the politics is going to play out.

All those dead and dying, while we fiddle.

The Young Turks