Home > Foreign Policy, Iraq > Sleight of hand

Sleight of hand

Wacko Lib sees one of the gang at WRiM giving a different justification for the Iraq war than we heard pre-war.

You’ve heard it before: Saddam supported terrorists, so we had to take him out. What terrorists? Palestinian terrorists.

There are a myriad of problems with this. First is the sleight of hand the President and his supporters have used in defining our current “war on terror.” It’s not a war on terror. We aren’t taking domestic terrorism seriously, we aren’t trying to stop the Tamil Tigers, etc. We’re trying to stop terrorism used against us by Islamist terrorists. Regardless of how broad the term “war on terror” is, this is what we’re doing. Are we threatened by Palestinian terrorists? Absolutely not. There simply isn’t much crossover. Al Qaeda, an anti-American group, generally attacks us and those who directly support our policies. Hamas, for example, attacks Israel exclusively. Hezbollah, the only anti-Israel group to target Americans, is the exception that proves the rule. We were directly supporting Israel in Lebanon when they attacked our Marines.

That still leaves a lingering justification, of course. Can’t we justify attacking Iraq as supporting our ally, Israel? Some of the more paranoid among us think that is what we did. In any case, attacking Iraq in support of Israel is about the stupidest strategic move possible. Saddam provided funding for the families of suicide bombers. Does anyone actually think the pool of potential suicide bombers is going to shrink significantly without Saddam’s funding for their families? I hope not. If only it were that easy.

Now, it’s inarguable that Iraq is now a front in the war on terror. I think most liberals (Tester included) recognize this, but have been sloppy in expressing it. Iraq had nothing to do with our war on terror before it was attacked. Now it does because we made it so.

I’m not sure that’s an argument for staying in the country, though. Insurgent terrorism is driven by our presence, consistent with almost every other suicide bombing campaign. If we withdraw it will stop. We will also stop creating new terrorists. The flip side is that Iraq will continue to devolve into a failed state like Afghanistan and will be a safe haven for terrorists motivated by other policies of ours. That may happen anyway, of course. We also have to consider the continued loss of life and the obligation we have to rebuilding something we destoyed. I haven’t decided exactly how I weigh these things. I sympathize with the proponents of withdrawal, but I’ve always leaned towards staying and making the best of it. It’s a hard decision that deserves careful thought.

Of course, we get partisan bickering instead. What a pity.

Categories: Foreign Policy, Iraq
  1. Mark T
    August 18, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    Some time you’re going to have to leave the Republican framework and talk about the real reason for invading Iraq – Operation Iraqi Liberation (O.I.L.).

  2. August 18, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    I’d be happy to, if you had any evidence.

  3. Colby N.
    August 21, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    Seemed as good a place as any to leave the info…

    http://rebelsarewe.wordpress.com/2006/08/22/a-desire-for-debate/

    Spread the word…

  4. Colby N.
    August 22, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    Here it is, come check it out.

    Big Sky Debate Society

    Colby Natale

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