The Interationale

Donnie Fowler at the Huffington Post is but one of the latest to claim that the US needs to stay in Iraq to clean up its own mess. “Iraq is not yet ready to clean up our mess, and if we withdraw our military from the country now, the chaos that currently exists would only worsen.”

What Fowler either doesn’t realize — or thinks that other people are too stupid to realize — is that this philosophy dovetails perfectly with the Bush administration’s preemptive war doctrine. Is there a country you’d like to occupy? Don’t think you can get the US public to back your invasion scheme (like who’s going to stop you?) Just draw up some crayola pictures of mushrooms, call ’em New York and LA, and send the Marines.*

Once you’re there, you’re there. Either things will go well or they’ll go poorly. If everything’s hunky-dory, the government you’ve installed will invite you to stay (or else). If they go bad, you and Donnie Fowler can always say you need to stay to clean things up. Never mind that you weren’t supposed to be there in the first place.

* Lest anyone think this is something new, here’s a 40-year-old song on the subject:

Send the Marines
by Tom Lehrer (1965)

When someone makes a move
Of which we don’t approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,
They have their place, I guess,
But first – send the Marines!

We’ll send them all we’ve got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott;
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,
What do we do? We send the Marines!

For might makes right,
And till they’ve seen the light,
They’ve got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
Till somebody we like can be elected.

Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war;
They’d rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
Ooh, we hate that expression!
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Marines!