Kevin Drum, one of the many bland accommodationist Donkles who girded his loins and hitched his britches and raised the flag and piled the barricades to "Save Social Security!" now writes:
Still, honesty compels me to say that I'm glad this [escalation] is going to happen. I know this makes me a bad person with no concern for human life etc. etc. (feel free to expand on this sentiment in comments), but at some point we have to come to a conclusion on this stuff. Conservatives long ago convinced themselves against all evidence that we could have won in Vietnam if we'd only added more troops or used more napalm or nuked Hanoi or whatever, and they're going to do the same thing in Iraq unless we allow them to play this out the way they want. If they don't get to play the game their way, they'll spend the next couple of decades trying to persuade the American public that there was nothing wrong with the idea of invading Iraq at all. We just never put the necessary resources into it.Usually it's your ahem-progressives loudly castigating the Naderite Bolshevik Left-Libertarian pseudo-caucus for bitching on the Donkle and trying to "heighten the contradictions" while Iraq bleeds, the poor suffer, the baby Jesus cries, and so on.
Well, screw that. There's nothing we can do to stop them anyway, so give 'em the resources they want. Let 'em fight the war the way they want. If it works -- and after all, stranger things have happened -- then I'll eat some crow. But if it doesn't, there's a chance that the country will actually learn something from this.
Now we have this veritable avatar of faux-rationalist Donkle centrism advocating that we heighten the contradictions a bit by throwing a few more eggs on the griddle. What can it hurt, after all, other than the eggs? "There's nothing we can do to stop them anyway . . . Let 'em fight the war the way they want." By which, to paraphrase Drum himself, he means: Give 'em permission to add more troops, nuke Baghdad, clear restive Anbar with a heapin' helpin' of napalm or white phosphorous. Drum says that if only it were so, when the eventual, inevitable loss comes, there'll be no room for today's young combat-dodgers to grow up nursing the nightmare that we were stabbed in the back by our own perfidious internal dissenters. As if that particular narrative requires that the stab-in-the-back actually, you know, happen.
From the early sixties onward, we only escalated and got more brutal in Vietnam, until there were half a million men in-country and non-stop sorties firebombing the country all to hell and everything else short of actually nuking the place, and it still didn't work, because it was their country, and whatever faction was going to control it, it wasn't going to be Uncle Sam's boys.
That is Drum's recipe for success. Exterminate the brutes until the exterminators realize that roaches outbreed their traps. Morally monstrous and hopelessly naive. Yes, Virginia, we have no Santa Claus.