Hat-tip to PZ: Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) tells it like it is. When asked point-blank about why the US shouldn’t leave Iraq, he said outright that the USA was in Iraq for its own interest rather than for the Iraqis’.
[Link] Tim [Russert], I was shocked by that as well. But you know, on reflection, this is their country. There’s a lot of things going wrong. You blame someone who is there. Still does not change that we’re not in Iraq primarily for the Iraqis. We’re in Iraq for us. We’re—have to do what we have to do, and it goes back to what the three generals—three military leaders said. It would be a total disaster for us to leave. It is in our self-interest, the interest to protect American families, that we are in Iraq. That’s why we’re there.
Anyone who’s been paying any attention to US foreign policy since 2002 will consider the statement “We’re in Iraq for us” to be as shocking as “the Pope is Catholic.” Bush never seriously intended to liberate the Iraqis; some of his liberal supporters did, but by and large his goals were to cover for American oil corporations and prop up a pro-American regime, regardless of its human rights record.
Amidst constant attacks on Bush’s incompetence, it’s easy to miss the fact that even if the administration were competent, Iraq wouldn’t be any better; instead of a country torn by civil war, it would be under the firm hand of some totalitarian ruler other than Saddam, either a Sunni nationalist or a Shi’a fundamentalist.
At least Senator DeWine is honest about it. Unfortunately, he’s less honest about the precise meaning of “for us”: he still trots out the security canard, even though earlier in the debate, Russert brought up the NIE’s demonstration that the war made the US more vulnerable to terrorism (reading DeWine dance around that question was a delightful schadenfreude). The US isn’t in Iraq to promote democracy or fight terrorism; right now it’s there because it’s there and nobody would dare get out, and it originally got in to quickly replace Saddam with a pro-American Saddam clone.