Iraqi defense minister says that U.S. troops should stay in Iraq for another ten years:
The Iraqi defense minister said Monday that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq's borders from external threat until at least 2018.
Which is, of course, exactly what we are going to do. This one quote is all of the justification that another Republican administration will need to keep American troops in Iraq, at their present levels, for as long as the administration holds power. Then again, a Democratic administration will keep not as many, but still a lot, of troops in Iraq, too. And the Democratic Congress won't ever do anything about it, because they are afraid of seeming like they were "against the troops." Doing that, or really anything that might even a little aggressive on Iraq, will, of course, hurt election chances..
The whole thing feels like we have entered a military dictatorship through means of manners and peer pressure. We are required to keep troops in Iraq for as long and in whatever quantities conservative generals tell us to keep them in Iraq, because otherwise we would be offending the troops. We can never order them to leave Iraq, because otherwise we would be offending the troops. We also can't cut back on military spending, because to do so would offend the troops. In order to avoid offending the troops, we collectively agree to let the military do whatever its most conservative commanding officers say we should do.
The whole thing smacks of the Algiers Crisis coup that caused the end of the fourth French Republic. In 1958, the French government abolished its constitution and willing handed over power to De Gaulle, including the power to write a new constitution greatly expanding the President's powers, because the military asked the government to do so. Of all the historical comparisons I have seen, the end of the French Fourth Republic really strikes me as the best analogy for what has happened to our democracy. It was, in effect, a modern, relatively bloodless coup perpetuated in a liberal democracy as the result of a national crisis, and with the willing support of a large percentage of the population. This isn't without precedent in America, considering the Business Plot to overthrow FDR back in the 1930's. Really, the only difference strikes me as being the comparatively crude military tactics proposed by the Business Plot, and the even the more sophisticated tactics utilized by De Gaulle were crude in comparison to the more gradual, more sophisticated techniques of the Powell memo. n both situations, military supremacy over the government was assured through popular will of the people, and enforced through our most pervasive institutions: government, mass media, and our sense of national supremacy.
It is funny how much conservatives hate France, since we seem to emulating them quite nicely.