Splitting binary

by matttbastard

Ali Eteraz puts it better than I could:

“I was against the war when launched. I didn’t think there was any evidence of a WMD. When the argument changed into “giving them democracy” I was still against the war because you cannot impose democracy. I am against the war still and want to see a viable exit strategy put in place, promptly. However, this does not mean that someone with my views cannot oppose what — and how — these “Muslim” insurgents are fighting.

The Sunni militants’ version of “insurgency” and “freedomfighting” is non-sensicial; they want not to fight the “occupier” but to kill the occupied. It is the most heinous and disgusting form of “resistance” I have ever seen in my life, or read about. Their strategy is: if we murder enough Iraqi elders, women and children, then the Americans will leave. I beseech Western Muslims to take heed of this. I know you are anti-war, and I know you wish that Americans left Iraq, and I know you think Bush is a liar. I think all these things. But please, for God’s sake, can you at least recognize, that the strategy of “resistance” being employed by the militants is barbaric. I challenge any person to find me any instance in the history of Islam where murdering civilians as a way to resist an opponent was considered legitimate under Islam. There is no such event.”

With apologies to Tariq Ali, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. Realist logic should not be embraced simply because it is in opposition to neconservative/liberal interventionist apologia.

Best. Sekrit. EVAR.

by matttbastard

Via Jon Schwarz: I’m sure there are many unrevealed details about the build up to the Iraq War. This was news to me:

“A SENIOR diplomat tipped off wheat exporter AWB a year before the Iraq war that Australia would join the US-led invasion, new documents show.


The documents, released by the Cole inquiry yesterday, show Australia’s then UN ambassador John Dauth revealed the Howard Government’s position to former AWB chairman Trevor Flugge.

Mr Dauth briefed Mr Flugge in New York in February 2002 – 13 months before the invasion – and the details appear in minutes of AWB’s February 27 board meeting tendered to the inquiry.

“The ambassador stated that he believed that US military action to depose Saddam Hussein was inevitable and that at this time the Australian Government would support and participate in such action,” the minutes said


“The ambassador believed that the latest olive branch from the Iraqis was likely to stave off US action (for) 12 to 18 months but that some military action was inevitable.””

The Afterbirth of Freedom

by matttbastard

At what point do ‘birth pangs’ get diagnosed as a miscarriage?

AP notes the latest record-breaking example of creative destruction in Iraq:

“In the deadliest attack since the beginning of the
Iraq war, suspected Sunni-Arab militants used three suicide car bombs and two mortar rounds on the capital’s Shiite Sadr City slum to kill at least 145 people and wound 238 on Thursday, police said.

The Shiites responded almost immediately, firing 10 mortar rounds at the Abu Hanifa Sunni mosque as Azamiya, killing one person and wounding seven people in their attack on the holiest Sunni shrine in Baghdad.


Sectarian fighting also broke in another part of northern Iraq on Thursday, when 30 Sunni insurgents armed with machine guns and mortars attacked the Shiite-controlled Health Ministry building. After a three-hour battle, during which Iraqi soldiers and U.S. military helicopters intervened, the attackers were repulsed. But at least seven guards of the ministry were wounded, said police 1st. Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq.

The Sadr City and Health Ministry attacks were the latest example of widespread sectarian fighting involving Sunnis and Shiites that is leaving Iraq either on the verge of a civil war or already fighting one.”

This is turning out to be a banner week for dubious milestones; just yesterday the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) released a report claiming 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed this past October, the highest toll since combat operations began in March 2003. Iraqis are fleeing the country at a rate of 100,000 each month.

But I’m sure they all appreciate the theraputic efforts of the US and UK.

Via The War In Context, Mark Danner gives a valuable recent history lesson here and here.