Iraq Est Res Pessum Ire
Bonnie Prince Charlie, another leader who “stayed the course” while his soldiers died.
Well, another Iraq post. A year or even six months ago if someone said to me I was being an alarmist about Iraq, and things weren’t really all that bad, I would have honestly been able to say “You could be right.” Now it is crystal clear that the catastrophe that people like me warned about is unfolding, and there’s nothing going to stop it. In fact it’s going to get a Hell of a lot worse. This is why I keep coming back to the subject, a disaster of historical proportions is unfolding before my eyes, and Washington’s only response is to fiddle louder, harder, and faster.
That has been one of the most baffling and horrifying things about this mess, Bush simply is unable to change his stance and give meaningful orders. Or any orders for that matter. Now he has delayed until next year announcing any change in his Iraq “strategy.” If he keep this up much longer the only option left is going to be “try to get our remaining troops out of Iraq alive.” Bush very much reminds me of Bonnie Prince Charlie in this respect, a Scottish leader who couldn’t make up his mind for four hours whether to attack or retreat at the Battle of Culloden. The British didn’t mind, they spent the four hours raining cannon fire down on the defenseless Scottish soldiers. When he did finally give the order to attack, it was far too late and his troops were slaughtered almost to a man. Sadly Bush is now in the same position, it doesn’t really matter what orders he gives anymore, it’s going to get worse no matter what.
The Saudis for their part have announced that they will support the Sunni’s in Iraq should all out civil war break out in Iraq. This highlights one of the many horrible downsides of an Iraqi civil war, which side should the US support? If we support the Sunni’s, we’re supporting the old Saddam regime for all practical purposes. Nasty on the face of it, and the Sunni’s would likely lose an all out war since they are badly outnumbered by the Shiites. If we support the Shiites, we are basically supporting Iran…and will cause problems for all of our other Shiite dominated allies in the reason. One can see why Bush doesn’t want to even admit the possibility of an Iraqi Civil war, cause if there is one, the US loses no matter who “wins.”
My title above is in reference to the famous Roman Politician Cato’s “Carthago delenda est!” (Carthage must be destroyed.) Cato used this phrase in all his speeches in the Senate, and he more than anyone else was personally responsible for the Third Punic War. In the first two Punic Wars Rome had taken all of Carthage’s colonies, Carthage simply was no longer a military threat to Rome. The Carthaginians were good businessmen and traders though, and their remaining city was prospering. Rich Roman’s resented this and thus one of history’s stupidest and evil wars was fought, Carthage was destroyed and it’s citizens sold into slavery. “Iraq Est Res Pessum Ire” means “Iraq is being destroyed.” Is the destruction of Iraq as stupid as the Third Punic War? Yes, if anything, stupider.
Other tidbits for people who are still trying to get through to the few remaining pro-war folks in their ever shrinking warp bubble (TNG fans will understand that reference.) Bush’s wars are being entirely financed with borrowed money. Yeah, that has to be a good idea. The army and marines are a mess, have very few combat ready units, and really are planning to extend reserve deployments again. Millions of Americans now know someone who has been killed or wounded in Iraq. So at least some Americans now know what everyone in Iraq feels like. God help us all, Iraq est res pessum ire.
(The above image pre-dates 1923 and is considered public domain under US copyright law. It is also being used in accordance with Fair Use under US copyright law.)