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Iraq is a honeypot

Paul Wolfowitz is on my wavelength on this one:

“I guess this is, and I’m going to have to go, but I think it is worth emphasizing that these guys lack the two classical ingredients of a victory in a so-called guerilla war if that’s what you want to say they’re conducting. They lack the sympathy of the population and they lack any serious source of external support. They are getting some of these foreign killers coming in which is fine. It’s better to kill them in Iraq than have to have them come and get killed in the United States. But basically they’re on their own in a population that I think can and will be turned.”

It’s far better for us if we attract the crazies to a killing ground of our choosing. The more the merrier!

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9 comments to Iraq is a honeypot

  • David Crawford

    One point I’ve come to since the war in Iraq began concerning the non-Iraqi Saddam Fedeyan. Do you think that maybe, just maybe, the home nations of these nut-jobs are using them to their own advantage? A country like Jordan, for example, sees a couple of positives from helping them go to Iraq to fight and to, hopefully, die.

    1. They rid themselves of potential trouble-making fanatics.

    2. They earn props in the muslim world for helping a fellow muslim country. (I realize that in the real world that fighting for Saddam Hussein, or his devil-spawn, isn’t really helping the Iraqis. However, in the bizzarro world of Islam, fighting in support of a murderous Islamic dictator is considered a good thing.)

    3. The US Army and Marine Corps kills them, ensuring they never return to Jordan to trouble the govenment or people of that country.

    Like you, I’d rather have the nut-jobs going up against the Army and the Marines versus the NYPD or the FBI. (The NYPD ain’t got no M-1 Abrams tanks or Apache attack helicopters.)

  • I’m not convinced.

    Wolfowitz points out that a) the fighters are without serious outside support and b) they are foreign fighters coming in from other countries.

    Don’t these foreign fighters enjoy the same level of outside support enjoyed by any Islamic terrorist organization in the ME? Oil money will continue to flow to terrorists as long as the Saudis continue to sell oil.

    These neighboring counties likely relish the opportunity to blow up an American every day, with no hint of connection to their official policy. Why is this a better deal for us?

    Americans will rapidly lose patience with this kind of attrition war and every single Islamicist knows it. Americans value every individual US life and want to see some tangible progress for each life lost, Islamicists value individual life about as much as they value a single bullet and demonstrate it by wildly spraying them around on full auto.

  • Julian Morrison

    “Oil money will continue to flow to terrorists as long as the Saudis continue to sell oil.”

    Someone who thinks strategically might consider that, Iraq now being under USA control, the Saudis are now nowhere near as “indispensable” as they once were.

  • Dishman

    Julian, saying that we went into Iraq so that we could dispose of the Saudis is undiplomatic.

    They have been good friends of ours for many years.

    For the record, my earliest memories are from 1973.. pre-school, Apollo XVII, the oil embargo.

  • Guy Herbert

    But the only point in doing it at all, Dishman, was to have a base from which to undermine the Saudis. Gratitude is not a factor in international affairs. Even were it, during those 30-odd years the oil money has been used to build influence for the House of Saud throughout the world by sponsoring mosques and madrassas and sending out Wahabite missionaries to influence them. Gratitude ain’t the attitude you’re looking for.

    The thing that perturbs me in this business is that there have been a severe underestimate of what “turning” the people might involve. Those (me included) who were behind the liberal imperialist cause in this case always said Iraq was a good place for a new start in the Middle East because it was secular, Westernised, educated already. It seemed all there was to was remove the dictator and preside over a few transitional arrangements. Even if one didn’t share the naivety that free-n-fair elections would somehow lead to immediate liberal democracy (democracy is to be avoided till you’ve got liberalism), a western-style multicultural nation state looked do-able.

    It is really difficult to get a picture of what’s going on, but my impression is that absent the Saddam terror, there is next to no non-sectarian structure at all. That there’s no civil society in the oldest cities in the world. That’s depressing. And modern Islamic intolerance clearly still has a very strong grip.

    Maurauding gangs plus suspicion of alternative ways of life is a tough problem. I hope the US administration has the political capital at home to stick it out, as well as the cultural subtlety to find a way through all the heffalump traps of reconstruction. But it doesn’t look good for the moment.

  • Dishman

    Ah, my post as I typed it had (crunches) and such in the line referring to their friendship. Alas, without those, the clear sarcasm was lost.

    My point was that we couldn’t SAY the biggest reason.

    Another way of looking at our going into Iraq was so that we could comply with the al-Qaeda demand of removing our troops from Saudi. Complying with terrorist demands… on our terms, and in a way that leaves them wishing we hadn’t complied at all.

  • “Someone who thinks strategically might consider that, Iraq now being under USA control, the Saudis are now nowhere near as “indispensable” as they once were.”

    I agree, but that is longterm thinking and way outside the window of time in which we need to restore order.

  • Ben

    THe first comment got me to thinking, that the writer stopped too soon.

    Yes, Jordan, for example, earns kudos for letting their nut jobs go to iraq to take on the American Army. They get rid of their nut balls, and look like good guys in the process TO THE BAD GUYS.

    And after helping all the bad guys get themselves killed, that leaves what behind? Dissallusioned bad guys, who cannot blame Jordan for helping them do what they wanted to in the first place, and those who would reform the Middle East along more modern western lines. Jordan buys time, keeps the bad guys off their back, gives them what they want, and gets rid of them, leaving them free to work toward a more liberal society.

    Someone once said that this war we are in now, is essentially the Saudi Civil War. Unlike other such wars, this one has been fought almost exclusively outside the country, sparing Saudi Arabia and the House of Saud from open warfare at home. HAving all their jihadis fight in Iraq may actually help the moderate and modern side in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria et.al.