Meanwhile, the US supposedly pays compensation for each citizen of Iraq who is killed. But there's no warranty on the country, which we ran into the ground.
If ever there was a lemon of a war, this is it.
Still, our presence in Iraq may never invoke the outrage from Americans that Vietnam did. After all, there's no draft. Nor did natives of Southeast Asia kill 3,000-plus Americans on our own soil like those from the Middle-East did.
Most of us are unopposed to preemptive war on principle. But we can no longer stomach the idea that our soldiers are dying in a war which epitomizes that support-group chestnut "half measures avail us nothing."
But, concerned it will be spun as a victory by the terrorists, we balk at calls for withdrawal. Then there are the commentators and congressmen who, despite how implausible they sound, guilt-trip us about abandoning the Iraqi people.
Let those concerned with abandonment try this story on for size. "No One Dares to Help," written by an anonymous Iraqi reporter for the Los Angeles Times, describes the aftermath of a shooting in his neighborhood. An injured man lay in the street, but no one dared step forward to help him.
He "managed to sit up and wave to passing cars. No one stopped. Then, a white Volkswagen pulled up. A passenger stepped out with a gun, walked steadily to the wounded man and shot him three times."
If that scene isn't the definition of abandonment, ask the families of the 6,599 Iraqis (reported) who died in July and August just how reassuring they've found American troops in their fabled city.
In fact, not only doesn't it prevent violent death, our presence seems to bring out the worst in the killers. As U.N. special investigator Manfred Nowak attests, torture in Iraq may now be worse than it was under Saddam Hussein. That sound you hear is the splat of the at-least-Iraq-is-better-off-than-under-Saddam argument hitting the ground after it was tossed out the window.
But Saddam may have set an unconscious benchmark for brutality in the minds of Shiites he oppressed. Likewise, American abuses at Abu Ghraib may have paved the way for Iraqis to season their savagery with a soupcon of the erotic. More likely though it was an accident waiting to happen.
In his fiction, an Army Ranger acquaintance who served in Iraq describes insurgents he encountered: "Sex fiends. . . beating their wives, raping their sisters, living in their own filth. . . . It was as if all the freaks in a region had started a terrorist organization."
In July, Patrick Cockburn, correspondent for The Independent, wrote of Iraqis who kidnap children and, despite collecting ransoms, rape and kill them. Then of course there's Nic Robertson's infamous CNN report -- call it apocryphal at your own peril -- of a 15-year-old girl whose head had been severed and, in its place, a dog's head sewn.
First, by personalizing killing, cutting your victim's throat is unprofessional. Whatever happened to the cold-blooded executioner with both an axe and nerves of steel?
Second, not only doesn't "ghoulish" do justice to the substitution of an animal's head for a human female's, but neither does "necrophiliac." In fact, if ever there was an occasion to invoke the term "Satanism" without fear of being called a crank, this is it. Even if we did create the preconditions, stooping to this level of barbarity is their choice.
Therefore, both to stop these psychopaths, as well as out of respect for their victims, most Americans shun the "cut-and-run" bunch. But there's an alternative -- the carve-it-up crowd.