This really isn't our failure. The failure is on the part of the Iraqis. They had this one great chance - bought with American and allied blood - to build a rule-of-law democracy in the Arab world. They appear determined to throw that chance away, preferring to wallow in old hatreds, vengeance, corruption and the tyranny of fear....There's also some sloppy love for the Kurds, meaning I guess that Ralph Peters is in the "pro-dead Turkish soldier" camp. (Unfair? Maybe, but Peters' column explicitly calls Kurdistan a "model state". Iraqi Kurds have launched attacks on Turkish forces across the border. You tell me what Peters means.)
What has become of our dreams for democracy when today's Iraqi police are worse than Saddam's and the most humane possibility for the country is a military government? The answer is that Arab civilization has revealed itself as a catastrophic failure.
Ignoring for a moment the fact that we have ample evidence of the Americans actually subverting Iraqi attempts at self-governance, this really is an astonishing turn in warmongering rhetoric. Recall, if you will, that people who warned of the dangers of sectarian violence in postwar Iraq were explicitly slandered as racists who "didn't believe the Arabs were capable of democracy."
Of course, those of us skeptical of the Afghanistan mission have also been slandered as anti-woman because we so obviously want the return of the Burqa.
A piece of advice for my friends on the left: If you hate right-wingers lecturing you about principles, don't worry - just wait five minutes for their principles to change.