Declaring a lesser victory in Iraq

A.E. (2007). Declaring defeat in Iraq. Simulated laughter. September 4, 2007. Available online:

Reacting a post on Lawyers, Guns, and Money, my friend A.E. writes:

In the name of defeating the media-hungry but militarily weak Al Qaeda in Iraq, we are amplifying and accelerating the warlordization of the country. It amounts to nothing less than a public declaration of defeat, as our stated aim remains the reconciling of ethnic factions and the construction of a strong central government. President Bush’s visit to Anbar and meetings with Sunni chieftains responsible for the deaths of American servicemen puts a very public face on this surrender.

Well, almost.

First, let it be said that the United States’ objective in Iraq is balancing Iranian power, creating and supporting a Sunni Arab counterweight that will prevent the active cooperation of the (Shia) Baghdad regime with the (Shia) Tehran government in an attack on Saudi Arabia.

Divering oil revenue to the Sunni tribes surely does this, as does supporting a tribal/paramilitary capacity to attack the government of Iraq within her own borders.

That said, these actions have to be viewed in the context of the millineal victory of 2003. If Afghanistan was “retaliation” for the Pentagon, then the Iraq War is the response to the twin towers attack, a shocking experience that “changes everything” and creates a “new normal.” In particular, Sunni Arabs have now lost two states in three generations, putting them well on the way to loss of territory and prestige rivaled only by the early-twentieth-century collapse of the Germans.

I enjoy A.E.’s blog, Simulated Laughter, and I hold views similar to his. Unfortunately, A.E.’s use of the word “defeat” is strange and use of “surrender” is bizarre.