When victory means defeatThe goals are political and economic: a stable and at least superficially democratic order, to allow US corporations to exploit markets and resources. The means are military: tanks, howitzers, aerial bombardment, etc., no longer subordinate to either the political or economic goals. The means defeat the ends. What good does it do American long-term interests -- or even the interests only of our capitalists -- to turn Falluja into Grozny? Next the killing-and-levelling machine is moving to Ramadi, to Mosul, even to Baghdad. We are on our way to producing a nation of Groznys. You'd think that our leaders could have learned something by watching the Russian disaster. But no, they are doomed to following the same path, because, like the Russians under Putin, they do not understand the relationship between their methods and their goals.
(After I wrote the above, I just found these remarks by Tom Andrews, the former Congressman (D-ME) who heads Win Without War and served on the House Armed Services Committee: ‘Successful’ U.S. Incursion in Falluja Is a Major Political Defeat.)