Wednesday, June 11, 2003

And now, back to your regularly scheduled migraine.

...there is an assumption that all the resistance is based on loyalty to Saddam. Some, clearly, may be coming from the Baathist remnants, but you'd have to be well, insane, to think that's the sole source of opposition. US troops are widely mistrusted. It's not that every Iraqi hates us like Afghans hated the Russians, or that everyone is opposed to US help. The problem is that we're walking all over their national pride with our occupation and no matter how war weary they are, and 23 years of war is a nightmare for any country, there will always be enough people willing to kill Americans if they feel there is no choice.


The pro-war people never really bothered to understand the anti-war argument, lost in their fantasies of Churchill and Munich, 1938. A less apt analogy could not have been drawn. What many anti-war people argued was not that the US would lose the Main Force war against Iraqi units, but would find the second war, the guerrilla war, impossible to win. That Iraq would seem to provide a victory, but that Iraqi history indicated that an armed opposition was likely to explode at some point. The reason you didn't want to tip over Saddam, is that you didn't want to see what he was sitting on.

Well, now we do, and we're bungling it. What reason have we given an Iraqi to be loyal to us? At the end of the day, why should Iraqis endorse any of our plans for their country? The Iraqi people may well decide that the best role for the US is in leaving their country. That hasn't happened yet. But, at the end of the day, are we going to provide a reason for Iraqi cooperation without a tank on every corner to ensure it?

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