[Marxism] Defeat with honor

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Dec 20 07:33:01 MST 2006


http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070101/parenti
ISG: Defeat With Honor

by CHRISTIAN PARENTI

[posted online on December 18, 2006]

Having read the national bestselling paperback The Iraq Study Group Report, 
I am not so convinced by much of what I am reading about it from writers on 
the left. Many progressives have interpreted the document's real message as 
a call for "Stay the Course Lite" or as a not-so-cloaked argument for 
privatizing Iraq's massive petroleum reserves. (Of course the centrality of 
oil in all of this should never be in doubt, but the situation in Iraq has 
spun out of control in ways that go far beyond privatization schemes. And 
of course the ISGR is predicated on salvaging US imperial power, 
redeploying it and rebuilding. Pointing out such things is like 
"discovering" that the sun again came up in the east.)

Nor are the pundits of the gray center getting it: They seem bogged down in 
the report's seventy-nine suggestions. Shift US troops to advisory roles? 
Will Iran come to the table in good faith?

In a strange inverted fashion, I am most compelled by the readings that 
have emerged from the far right. They understand the document for what it 
is: an abject admission of total failure. Rush Limbaugh summed it up best 
when he mocked the document as "The Iraq Surrender Group Report."

Limbaugh is totally correct. That's what it is: a plan for defeat with 
honor. To put the report in very simple terms, its message is: The United 
States got its ass kicked, time to go. Or, if you prefer a direct quote: 
"The ability of the United States to shape outcomes is diminishing. Time is 
running out." And later they ponder how to "avert catastrophe."

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