But with endorsements like that...
There is no way that Iraqi hostility to the American occupation can be turned around at this point, and the current outbreak of fiscal irresponsibility in the US-a huge budget deficit and a huge trade deficit, amounting to almost half a trillion dollars each-will certainly result in a great deal of economic pain and misery for ordinary Americans in the coming years. We all know who got the US into Iraq and who created the budget deficit, but the man who is president when military defeat and economic crisis can no longer be denied will bear the political blame.
The main concern of Nameless was that a Kerry election victory, followed by a humiliating scuttle from Iraq and a crash in the US dollar at home, would generate a "Dolchstoss" myth on the American right. He was referring to the alleged "stab in the back" by the German left that was used to explain away Germany's defeat in the First World War. (In fact, the left had loyally supported the war, but had little say in its conduct-until, after Germany's generals admitted irretrievable military defeat on the Western Front, the government was swiftly handed over to the Social Democrats so they could surrender and take the blame.)
The "Dolchstoss" myth, which denied that it had been a mistake to start the war and blamed Germany's defeat on a failure of will, poisoned all subsequent efforts to create a healthy democratic republic on German soil. No analogy is perfect, but similar myths already exist in US politics. Many on the American right still believe that the Vietnam war that could have been won if only the spineless traitors of the left had not weakened American "resolve"-and they say this even though President Richard Nixon, who was elected on a promise to end the Vietnam war and presided over the whole latter phase of it, was a Republican. What could they do with a lost war on a Democratic president's watch?
The war in Iraq is unwinnable for the same reason as the Vietnam war, and all the other wars of the '50s, '60s and '70s in which Western armies tried to beat local resistance movements. The Western armies won almost all the battles and imposed casualties on the insurgents at a ratio of ten-to-one or even more, but the locals had an inexhaustible supply of angry young men who were willing to die.