Notes Book

Who Will Win the War in Iraq?

It's pretty easy to see what the Iraqi people are loosing in this war: Buildings, people, environmental integrity and the continuity and organization of their society. If they lose the war, they will lose their national sovereignty and face a long, difficult struggle for national liberation.

The American and British losses are mostly economic. In addition to the huge direct expense of the war and it's probably aftermath, there are likely to be even greater losses to their civilian economy. Already, American corporate icons around the world are being boycotted and vandalized. Potential business deals are being scuttled in large numbers. The American dollar is steadily weakening. Perhaps American corporations will be able to make some money from Iraqi oil, but that exploitation is going to be closely scrutinized by both the international community and political adversaries in the United States. Having so strenuously denied that it's all about oil, the American elite will have some difficulty profiting from its aggression.

But the French, the Germans, and the Russians will be strengthened. The business we are not getting will go to them. The Islamic world will be grateful to them for standing up to the “World's only Superpower”, and will be more inclined to sell oil for euros. And all it cost the “Axis of Weevils” was a small temporary decrease in American exports. The North Koreans are now de facto members of the Nuclear Club, and the Chinese have a strengthened buffer against United States imperial ambitions.

This war may have the same effect on the Arab and Islamic world that the Pearl Harbor attack had on the US. A unified and militant Islam would be a formidable adversary. As the Japanese discovered to their cost, it is best to let sleeping giants lie.

There could be fallout from this war in Latin America. There have been serious conflicts between the US and her Hispanic neighbors before. Now that there is a significant Hispanic population in the USA, such a conflict in the present age could be extremely difficult to manage.

The Republican Party and George W have bet their control of the government on this war and there are reasons to believe that they may loose the bet, even if they win the war. One reason is history. From Winston Churchill to George Herbert Walker Bush, electoral politics has not been kind to wartime leaders of democratic societies, even in victory. Wars are not comfortable, even for the victors, and when voters are not comfortable, they want to change leaders.

Republican advocates on talk shows crow that the Democratic Party is split on the war. George W's supporters are currently behind him, but there is a widening split in the conservative ideologists of the right between the Neocons, who support the war, and the Paleocons who don't.

Democratic politicians are largely silent about the war. They will not have to say anything to make political gains from the current Republican folly, just as the French, the Germans, and the Russians, and assorted other countries will not have to do anything to profit from this historic blunder.