November 11, 2004

New Column

My new Tech Central Station column is up: Bomb My House...Please. It's about Fallujah.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 11, 2004 08:52 AM
Comments

Good one.

"Once secular and religious tyranny are rejected by the majority, what's left? Some kind of moderate consensual government, and that's about it. We are setting ourselves up to win "hearts and minds" by default. The same could have happened without an invasion, but it would been decades rather than years before it took place."

You forgot to mention that the price of waiting decades could have been very high indeed.

Posted by: FH at November 11, 2004 12:03 PM

Some people are gonna hate you for that one.

Posted by: Eric Blair at November 11, 2004 01:04 PM

Well, Iraq can't go the way of Iran, because Iran is a cultural entity with a largely shared tradition of culture, language, and religion. Theocratic fascism imposed on a state as diverse as Iraq would quickly become a genocide at least as bad as anything Saddam did.

Or so the Sunnis fear. For them, it will be bad enough to be a religious minority, let alone be a minority against whom ongoing reprisal can be expected.

Various kinds of federal partition are starting to look like the best way out. Stable democracies could indeed arise out of Iraq, but probably not out of all of it.

I'd be interested in your reaction to Christopher Dickey's commentary along these lines: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6453400/site/newsweek/

Posted by: Jarrett at November 11, 2004 01:10 PM

Breaking Iraq up would only make the problem worse. Read Madison's Fed 10 as to why.

Posted by: FH at November 11, 2004 03:46 PM

I am very optimistic concerning Iraq, Iran, and the rest of the Middle East. What is the central reason for my positive attitude. This is a very easy question to answer: the reelection of George W. Bush. Our enemies are demoralized by his victory. God obviously did not side with John Kerry. Why has He abandoned the sons of Mohammed? Self pity and disbelief is the inevitable response of the nihilistic Muslims.

Afghanistan is the first domino to fall, and Iraq is the second. The others will fall into line within the next few years.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 11, 2004 05:04 PM

I've just put up small post about Arab/Iraqi opinion at my own blog.

Whatever the level of anti-American/ anti-Western propaganda Al Jazeera tries to churn out, there still seem to be at least a few Iraqis who understand and appreciate what the U.S. is trying to accomplish in their country.

If you have a minute you might visit some of these Iraqi blogs, I usually find them encouraging.
Posted by: Leathan Lund at November 11, 2004 05:56 PM

Hey, they said Iraqis would greet us with flowers and now it's all destroy the village to save it.

You sure have a nimble mind, Michael.

Posted by: novakant at November 11, 2004 06:04 PM

Hey, they said Iraqis would greet us with flowers and now it's all destroy the village to save it. You sure have a nimble mind, Michael.

Heh. You sure don't.

Posted by: Shana Barrow at November 11, 2004 06:15 PM

gosh shana, you've found me out, the constant moving of goalposts in the last 18 months made my head explode

Posted by: novakant at November 11, 2004 06:47 PM

That doesn't surprise me in the least, novakant.

Posted by: Shana Barrow at November 11, 2004 08:06 PM

Michael, GREAT post, though I had already read all your quoted stuff.

I wish you had taken a look at my April post
Harry Potter, Ender Wiggins, (no) Help for Iraqi People

And recently my The US can NOT win in Falluja - only the Iraqis can
from which:
What Iraq needs is an army/ police force ready and able to fight for democracy, to kill for Iraqi freedom. The US is there to make sure such good Iraqis win in any real fight.

But the US can NOT win -- only the Iraqis can win. The US army will go home. The surviving Iraqis will have been liberated. The Iraqi Freedom Fighters will be heroes.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at November 12, 2004 12:54 AM

Well said. I pretty much agree with all of it. I haven't seen the WaPo article you quoted, but I disagree with the part that said:

The non-Iraqi Arabs berated women who did not cover themselves head-to-toe in black -- very rare in Iraq

Take a 3-mile drive through downtown Mosul and you'll see at least 30 women covered in black. That's about 15-20% of the women who are outside (during my year in country I saw 3 women driving- total). I recall seeing similar numbers around Najaf and Baghdad (maybe a little less in Baghdad). Maybe rare, but I wouldn't say very rare. Maybe I'm just being nitpicky. Anyway, nice article...

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