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Foolish myths

Posted by Richard on August 14, 2007

The inimitable Christopher Hitchens looked at the myths about al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and wielded his mighty pen like a sword, slicing them effortlessly to pieces:

To say that the attempt to Talibanize Iraq would not be happening at all if coalition forces were not present is to make two unsafe assumptions and one possibly suicidal one. The first assumption is that the vultures would never have gathered to feast on the decaying cadaver of the Saddamist state, a state that was in a process of implosion well before 2003. All our experience of countries like Somalia and Sudan, and indeed of Afghanistan, argues that such an assumption is idiotic. It is in the absence of international attention that such nightmarish abnormalities flourish. The second assumption is that the harder we fight them, the more such cancers metastasize. This appears to be contradicted by all the experience of Iraq. Fallujah or Baqubah might already have become the centers of an ultra-Taliban ministate, as they at one time threatened to do, whereas now not only have thousands of AQM goons been killed but local opinion appears to have shifted decisively against them and their methods.

The third assumption, deriving from the first two, would be that if coalition forces withdrew, the AQM gangsters would lose their raison d'être and have nothing left to fight for. I think I shall just leave that assumption lying where it belongs: on the damp floor of whatever asylum it is where foolish and wishful opinions find their eventual home.

Needless to say, read the whole thing

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One Response to “Foolish myths”

  1. Hathor said

    It’s all crystal ball gazing.

    Looking into the glass though veiled knowledge of the enemy.

    This not only applies to our government and our pundits, but ourselves as well.

    Analysis is what we do best, while our enemy operates on basic instincts.

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