"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

OpinionJournal - Iraq is no distraction from al Qaeda - Iraq Civil war

OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "How can anyone, looking down the gun-barrel into the stone face of Zarqawi, say that fighting him is a 'distraction' from fighting al Qaeda"

One of my favorite questions (rhetorical or not) is "would Zarqawi be selling fallafel now, if not for our intervention in Iraq?"

This is the next or latest phase in the logic of Iraq being separate from the larger "War on Terror." Forget about Bush lied..., no WMD so why are we there....blood for oil or any other tripe anyone can come up with.

Civil war in Iraq has been the acknowledged aim of Zarqawi and his ilk. Obviously not on some CNN interview. But in the interception of the courier with a letter from Zarqawi to OBL in February of 2004.

"These in our opinion are the key to change. I mean that targeting and hitting them in their religious, political and military depth will provoke them to show the Sunnis their rabies . . . and bare the teeth of the hidden rancor working in their breasts. If we succeed in dragging them into the arena of sectarian war, it will become possible to awaken the inattentive Sunnis as they feel imminent danger."

If no civil war, with it's framented loyalties; no success for Zarqawi and his girls.

Christopher Hitchens suggest two options for us in Iraq; one, threaten to withdraw thereby asking Iraqi neighbors if this is what they truly want.

Or two, "we can demand to know, of the wider international community, if it could afford to view an imploded Iraq as a spectator. Three years ago, the smug answer to that, from most U.N. members, was "yes." This is not an irresponsibility that we can afford, either morally or practically, and even if our intervention was much too little and way too late, it has kindled in many Arab and Kurdish minds an idea of a different future."

In closing Hitchens writes, "There is a war within the war, as there always is when a serious struggle is under way, but justice and necessity still combine to say that the task cannot be given up."

Since Vietnam we have had an aversion to long drawn out wars, hence we get Panama, the Gulf War, precision strikes, high altitude Bosnia etc.. Unfortunately not everything can be wrapped up neatly within a short span of time; this is not a Hollywood movie or movie of the week or novel.

We truly need to ask ourselves, regardless of dislike for Bush/Republicans/Rightwingers etc., whether we can afford the half hearted effort many are begrudgingly allowing. What do we see as the outcome of this? Would everything be hunkydory and back to way it was if we left it to that?

It's up to the international community to decide whether they are going to continue to rest on their coattails or step up as they should have over three years ago. The gulf war from the early 90's has not reached completion yet; the hard work has only just begun.


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