Oh, all right! If you must know, I will tell you.
Victory, by definition, will look however our leaders say it will look, and since Our Very Bestest Leader has had something to say about this recently, I'll use this space to share that vision with you now.
Victory in Iraq: [In VictoryVision! where available.]
Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship.[*] But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world -- a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people. A democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them -- and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and our grandchildren. [White House: President's Address to the Nation]
*Under advisement, Victory will also not manifest itself in any more 'ceremonies on the deck of a battleship' where the Commander in Chief declares an end to major combat operations beneath a sign reading 'Mission Accomplished.'
"That's all well-and-good," you might say, and ask, "What will Democracy in Iraq look like?" And you'd be a very naughty little subject for asking. What is it with you people anyway? The words of The Medium Lobster on this topic are many; and The Medium Lobster has been very clear.
Democracy in Iraq will bear the outward appearance of the type of Democracy that manifests itself there, when it comes to fruition.
- Will we see everyday Iraqis participating in regional meetings held on lush hillsides, dressed in crisp white togas with garlands in their hair?
- Will it be a bicameral legislature where middle aged men in powdery white whigs and heavy robes assemble to decide the issues of the day?
- Perhaps Iraqi women will signal the beginning of something democratic with a march on Versailles to protest the harsh economic conditions wrought by tyrannical Frenchified defeatism in opposing the endowing of the Mid East region with universal Freedom, Liberty and Democracy.
- I dare say, that it isn't outside the realm of possibility that it may look something like our own modern-style Democracy; where carefully orchestrated public elections decide the make-up of a three branch federal government; the officials of which carefully monitor the activities of all of its citizens via security cameras and microphones installed in every home and street corner; with a mandate from The People to maintain order, safety and, of course, the personal political power of elected officials.
Today, we don't ask that you envision Democratic Iraq in terms any clearer than those of an abstract pointillist painting at close range. In fact, like the pointillist painting, the situation in Iraq is best understood when examined from afar; and with a slight squint. Don't worry, we will let you know where to stand and what to look for, when the time comes. Unless, of course, you disagree with us. In which case, you are now obligated to produce, in super high definition down to the last, most minute detail, your plan for success in Iraq. (You'll have to use Blu-Ray or HD DVD, because VictoryVision! doesn't even know how to render such defeatist nonsense.)
But, consider first, is yours a plan for Victory: like a topical antibiotic ointment to assist the healing bandage of military might? Or is yours a plan for Failure: like ripping the band-aid off real fast so it "doesn't hurt"? Ask any child, for a simple and accurate assessment of that latter course.
The disparity between these -- the only two conceivable courses of action -- is stark. With nothing but nothingness in between. Which is exactly what Our Very Bestest Leader very eloquently expressed when, in the very same speech quoted above, he said:
From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists, or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?
Citizens, as always, we do not ask much of you. We only ask for your continued faith in leadership and the universal appeal of Liberty. (And, in some rare cases, your military age offspring.)
Now, does anyone have a satisfactory alternative plan for establishing a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to the people in Iraq?
I didn't think so.
--Chaplain Montag of the First Knights of the 19 Quart Lobster Pot
[1.12.07: slightly edited for grammar, punctuation and readability.]