We Won!

I hereby declare Operation Iraqi Freedom a resounding success.

I’m very serious. Mission accomplished. All hail President Bush. We’ve vanquished tyranny, ended oppression, brought democracy to a previously totalitarian regime and are reshaping the Middle East in the image of freedom. Our strategy is wildly popular at home and abroad, those who disagreed with us will be sorry for it when they see how it all turned out, and liberals are pussies who don’t understand.

Okay? Are we done now? Is that what you wanted? Can we please for the love of any God that may exist get these people on planes and on ships and get them out of the war zone right the hell now? If what you were waiting for was victory and peace, I hereby declare with my impeccable liberal credentials that anything you want to hear is absolutely true and is ordained by the Almighty, if only people like this can come home before more of them are blown up.

Lance Cpl. Holly Charette, a 21-year-old from Cranston, R.I. recently deployed here from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. She is one of the thousands of 2d Marine Division Marines serving in the Al Anbar Province as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Charette’s job allows her to meet many of the people in Headquarters Battalion, where she works. Her part in the Global War on Terrorism is something different than most Marines. And that’s not all that sets her apart from her fellow service members.

“I never really thought too hard about being a mail person, but it’s really an important job and people depend on me,” said Charette. “There are a lot of stresses involved, but it’s really worth it at the end of the day.”

Look. It’s not that I don’t understand that war requires sacrifice. Plenty of my grandparents’ friends didn’t come back from World War II. Plenty of men my father’s age are still fighting the Vietnam War, including dear friends of mine. War requires sacrifice and I understand that and maybe I could read stories like the one above and be awed by the idea of a country so noble that it required such a loss to preserve its ideals, except for the incontrovertible evidence presented every single day that the people running this war don’t give a flying feathered fuck about sacrifice or about ideals. They care about one thing and one thing only: being proved fucking right.

Fine. If that’s what it’ll take that’s what I’m willing to do. I’m willing to say they were right. Does that make you feel warm and fuzzy, Karl? Does that satisfy you, Ass Missile? Your carpet-burned ego salved now, Michelle? Are we five by five? That seems to be the only objective that needs satisfying these days: that no one with an R after their name lose face. Fine. Every other rationale — to rid Iraq of WMD, to free people from torment and oppression, to remove a vital source of support for Palestinian terrorism, to eliminate a dictatorship — has proven to be utter bullshit. Every other objective — killing of Hussein’s sons, capture of Hussein, elections, governance — has become one more candy cane dream in the gingerbread house people like Donald Rumsfeld stubbornly keep in their minds while the house of horrors unfolds around the soldiers they sent to die.

It looks like the only real reason to keep fighting this war is to make liberals feel bad. Fine. I feel awful. Bend over, George, and I’ll kiss your shiny preznit ass. Now do you have it? Now are you done? Now can you puff yourselves up at the conventions and make universities pay you for speeches, now can you write books about how you did it right? Because if that’s what it takes, fine. Fine. We’ve won. Iraq is a great victory. Iraq will take its place in American history as a tale of glory right up there with Bastogne and Bunker Hill, Gettysburg and Normandy.

Bring them home, the men and women who fought this war and let’s give them a ticker-tape parade in New York City. This war is not worth one more Holly Charette. This war is not worth one more life, conservative, liberal, apolitical, whatever. This war is not even worth the deaths of the chickenhawks we’ve been encouraging to enlist. This war is not worth one more death. Bring them home. We’ve won. We’re finished. We did what we set out to do. If what the right-wing criminals and criminally deluded really need is the satisfaction of knowing they were right all along, fine. Let them puff and strut, if that’s the price to pay for the men and women serving our country, if that’s the price to pay to have them at home at the table at dinner, to have them come home on a transport ship and not in a transfer tube.

We’ve won, okay? Is that the end of it for you? Is that what you wanted to hear? Am I saying it loud enough for you? We’ve won. We’ve won. We’ve won.

A.