Every once in a nonce some fringe lefty lifts his head from his drug-induced stupor long enough to proclaim that there is no military solution for Iraq, then he passes out again. Such statements are made by people who have no appreciation for the grand strategy you are pursuing in the Middle East.
Of course there is no military solution for the Middle East. There never will be, and the idea of a military solution was never seriously considered. This is what you meant when you spoke of a “generational war.” It is a war that goes on and on and on without end. Its purpose is neither oil, nor turning Iraq into a Westernized neo-liberal democracy, nor protecting Israel, nor proving America’s resolve in clinging to a hopeless situation, nor insuring your legacy. The sole rationale for Iraq is war for war’s sake.
It’s an economic thing, George. There’s been a lot of talk about the dot.com bubble and the housing bubble. As the housing bubble tanks there is now murmurings about an alternative energy bubble in which we take grain from the mouths of the starving and convert it into ethanol with which we fuel our SUVs and eighteen-wheeler warehouses.
As bubbles go, these are simply foam. The truth is that they are mere parasites resting on the mother of all bubbles, the defense bubble. Defense spending is the hot air that keeps all the other bubbles inflated until they pop. As soon as they pop, the hot air pump starts inflating another one. We cannot allow this pump to fall into disuse.
The operator of this pump is the defense contractor who funds the lobbyists who run Congress, thus insuring a climate conducive to greed and exploitation. Money is pumped into the economy via the design and manufacture of useless military hardware. This money falls into the hands of deregulated corporatists who have used it to facilitate the divorce of finance capitalism from the real economy without which the present subprime madness would never have happened. Finance capitalism is impossible without a manufacturing base to provide the profits for investment. The defense industry is the only one that has not been outsourced overseas. Therefore, it is essential that we keep it thriving and healthy.
The prospect of world peace is frightening. It would wreak havoc on our economy. This is why 9/11 was such a blessing, and I continue to admire your deft handling of it. As soon as the towers fell, your eyes lit up as you saw the god of eternal warfare rising from the dust. No longer would America have to worry about a shortage of enemies. With the promulgation of your doctrine of preemptive wars you guaranteed that our country would spend the next millennium slogging form one quagmire to the next.
You have made doubly sure this would happen by engaging America in wars of counterinsurgency. The Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld has pointed out that the sheer weight of anti-insurgency manuals in print would be enough to sink the Titanic without the iceberg. He then reminds us that they have all been written by the losers.
As long as our wars remain unwinnable, America will continue to prosper.