Friday, February 02, 2007

Taheri On Iraq

Amir Taheri takes a look at the situation in Iraq. He seems well informed, but his analysis seems very little like what so many in Washington and in our news industry believe about Iraq these days:
If it is a civil war, we should identify the two camps and decide which to support. If it is a sectarian war, the only way to end it is either by geographical separation (as was the case with Croatia and Serbia) or through massive foreign occupation, as in Bosnia.

What is happening in Iraq, however, is neither a civil nor a sectarian war (although elements of both exist within the broader context). This war is a political one - between those who wish Iraq to succeed as a new democracy and those who want it to fail.

Those who want the new Iraq to succeed represent the overwhelming majority of Iraqis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Those who want it to fail are made up of Saddamite bitter-enders, some misguided pan-Arab nationalists, death squads financed by Tehran - and a variety of non-Iraqi terrorist outfits who have come to Iraq to kill and die in the name of their perverted vision of Islam.

In short, the war in Iraq is part of the broader war against terrorism and its many dark forces.

Read his entire analysis. He seems to understand the elements and the details of what has been happening in Iraq. Our political leaders in Congress, who have been rather loudly debating what our efforts in, or out of, Iraq should be, don't seem to be talking in terms of such details as Mr. Taheri brings to bear in his analysis. Could it be that Mr. Taheri has it wrong?

When I listen to our representatives in Congress talk about Iraq, almost none of them provide such details as the basis for their conclusions. Consequently, it is difficult for me to believe any politician who is not talking about continuing to provide security for the new constitutional government of Iraq, and who is instead talking only about what sounds like retreat. I think if the retreatists would just pick one of Mr. Taheri's choices between (a) it is a civil war and we must pick a side, or (b) it is a sectarian war and we must partition on the basis of religious belief, then I could at least conclude that they were being sincere, even though I tend to be persuaded by Mr. Taheri's conclusion. Instead, I conclude that most of those in Washington today who are saying they won't support the Commander in Chief are simply playing politics with national security issues. That is not good, but what can we do, eh? This is pretty much exactly what I tell my students the study of public choice theory says we should expect from our elected leaders.

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