Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Maybe The Terrorists Want Us To Think That They Want Us To...

I love the little game we play every time Bush gets up and makes one of his pseudo-Wilsonian announcements. Imagine, if you will, children's book drawings accompanying these sentences. "If we pull out, the terrorists will know they can just wait us out!" "But if we don't pull out, they'll get more recruitment!" "Maybe they want you to think that!" "Maybe they want you to think that!"

Bush offered the first: That we should not make a timetable of withdrawal because "the enemy" in Iraq would learn they could just wait us out.

That's funny, because the terrorologists and the terrorists fairly explicitly say that :"the enemy" (whoever that is) wants continued US action. As Ritter pointed out, as long as US troops are there, elements like Ba'athists and extreme Islamists become emboldened and can consolidate an increasingly authoritarian and violent resistance. Further, since the Iraqi people and the Muslim world in general want US pullout, the longer the US remains, the more popular the resistance becomes. (But maybe they're just bluffing us! Never mind that this assessment is based not on what terrorists think but the more general outlook of the Muslim world, captured confidential documents, and people with decades of experience).

Of course, we then have to ask, "Who's the enemy?", because it implies that the Iraq war was part of the selective, misnamed and ineffective "war on terror". But that's ridiculous, especially given that the resistance in Iraq is (despite the way the dominant media spins it) actually largely composed of ordinary people. Yes, there are foreigners from Sunni states like Syria and Saudi Arabia, as well as Islamists from all over the place; yes, there are leftover Ba'athists; no, these do not represent the majority of the resistance. Even the mainstream terrorologists who break into NPR and the other serious news networks discuss how the resistance is heterogenuous and has numerous aspects. So I guess "the enemy" who would learn we could be waited out would be.... the Iraqi people? Funny how that works.

This all leads to the most obvious conclusion: Namely, that even if everyone in Iraq was a terrorist and attacking them would decrease terror, it is not the right of the US to unilaterally invade a country, instill its preferred political and economic forms (highly selectively, of course: our globalization still keeps the subsidies and general state protection that capitalism, no matter what they tell you in acadamia, relies upon; and aspects of our system like good checks and balances and federation managed to not make it in), and kill the people inside of it.


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