Cracks me up to hear people say that they're going to "end" the war in Iraq, that "we" need to end the war in Iraq. Does anyone with half a brain truly believe that our pulling out of Iraq would end the war there? It's our presence there, I submit, that is actually preventing war.
I guess this is where we as philosophers need to define our terms. There was a war in Iraq. But it only lasted about a week. Since then it's been bombings and mayhem--not what I would call a war. A war is between folks in uniforms, between nation states, between actors who would be recognized as soldiers by the Geneva Convention.
Since then it's really, for us Americans, only been a police action. And that's what's so frustrating. Why do we have to be over there policing them? Why won't they police themselves? Simple. If they had to police themselves, it would become war. Dennis Miller had it spot on when he said on his radio show about a week or so ago that we don't need to get to a point where they like each other, we only need to a point where they stop shooting each other.
They're not there yet. So it's on us to stand in between 'em. Until they can hug it out. We're the teacher on the playground at recess. And like it or not, we're the only super power so it's on us. (Breaking news: the UN can't do it, NATO won't do it.) A terrible sacrifice to pay.
But to say we can "end" the war? How naive. How conceitedly Ameri-centric. As if we have the power to end it. Pull out now and they'll fight it out. And that will be on us. And in the end, that will come back to bite us in the butt.