15 August 2008

War and American Culture

Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari has discussed with the press that a draft is being hammered out between the coalition and the Iraqi government to withdraw American forces. This should be welcomed by anyone who supports a stable and democratic Iraq, since it shows the newfound confidence that the Iraqi people have in their own security forces. Also, our scant resources in the military are overworked and needed elsewhere. This is remarkably different than the language of surrender that many members of Congress offered up during the controversial "Surge" strategy, which has been compiled by the Greyhawks in the above video. With the Islamic State of Iraq in serious decline, according to Jihadica, and the Mahdi Army badly weakened, the most pressing problems in Iraq are of a more political and economic nature (refugee crisis, inability to spend surplus of oil revenues, delay of provincial elections, etc.) Therefore, it seems appropriate that now would be the time of discussion to withdraw coalition forces.

But what if it didn't work out like that? Would America remember the Iraq in the same vein as they remembered Vietnam. I was watching Gonzo last night, (which is a film about the life of the greatest journalist ever!), and Thompson harkens back to San Francisco in the 60s saying it was a magical trip to be part of. With movies like The Big Chill and even some old hippies living in the dead husks of the past, my take on the previous generation is that they were very proud of their opposition to the Vietnam War (despite poor treatment of veterans). Many also seem to be very proud of their "anything-goes" decadence of their wild days on college campuses and carry themselves with an aura of self-righteousness than really pisses a lot of younger people off. If the Surge hadn't worked out the way it did, we would've been treated to smug conversations from self-proclaimed intellectuals for the rest of our lives that would've produced a glut of more crappy anti-war movies like Redacted, Stop Loss, and Lions for Lambs to infuse our culture with bullshit. Endless swarms of tweens growing up to be proud of the fact that they were
penning bogus essays about Iraq to win Hannah Montana tickets. It could've been a show like "The Wonder Years", except without the comedic stylings of Paul Pfeiffer.

While, the cultural ramifications in America of the Iraq war should be the least important thing a nation worries about, I'm just grateful it didn't work out that way. Maybe American Carol will be a huge success, who knows.