An elephant, under attack by fire ants, hazards only a few stings to its mouth and anus, but if, in its thrashing, it trips on a rock, the weight of its own fall will kill it.
Big things don't behave like small things. This is true in physical science. And military science.
America, the Behemoth, can't do like Honduras, load everybody into the station wagon and take off after Russia and Spain. America didn't go to Iraq to set up tents. It went to build. As Powell said to Bush, "You will own that country." And as Bush thought to himself, My God, the man's slow.
Some, like me, believe America should simply admit it made a huge mistake and reverse course without further discussion. Let the world sort it out while America takes care of the logistics of leaving with the same vigor with which it invaded. Once the troops are home, America will finally have someone to protect them, just in case.
I'm told this is unrealistic, and I agree with that assessment. America can't admit a mistake. It doesn't have that skill. To admit a mistake takes humility, and Americans will have none of it. Even John Kerry says America won't leave Iraq until the job is finished and democracy is established, thereby exactly repeating the error of his arch-enemy, Lyndon Johnson, who also inherited a "war" and made a similar vow. It was honor that killed populations of us and them, honor that lied to win hearts and minds, honor that was nothing more than a euphemism for fear. Now here we go again.
When you hear the word honor, shout the word fear.
I promised an exit strategy. Here it is. Miss Klupar held up an empty glass, then left the room, returning a moment later with a full glass of water, which she carried to the windows and set on the window sill. She lifted the blinds, opened the window, and we jumped out of our seats to see what she was going to do. She threw the water onto the sidewalk, then walked to the blackboard and wrote the word: EVAPORATION. By the time she finished explaining, the water was gone.