Monday, February 19, 2007

A Very Good Point

Daniel Larison writes:

Once again war supporters are personalising the conflict to an absurd degree. Remember how the insurgency would start dropping off if we just got Hussein and his sons? Remember how we just had to get rid of Zarqawi, and the insurgency would go into decline? This is more of the same–a weird Anglo-American trait of recent years to make every foreign policy problem into a stand-off with some mini-Hitler, which has the advantage of making the people taking on mini-Hitler into microscopic Churchills. Once we defeat the mini-Hitler, as if he were the final challenger on a level of a video game, we will have triumphed!

He makes a very good point here. Much of the ideology behind the Iraq War is based onthe idea that there is a particular person or a small number of persons who are preventing the Iraqis from coming out and supporting "their" vision of a democratic, united Iraq.

I have commented on this myself:

As long as we rely on others with different interests to protect what we perceive as our interests in Iraq, our strategy will be a woeful failure and we will be left either blaming others for Iraqi misdeeds... or trying to place all of the problems on the head of some Emmanuel al-Goldstein, such as Zarqawi or Sadr.

Another comment on this here.

I think that this focus on particular persons as the main obstacle to victory in Iraq is largely based on the fact that once you base your goals and strategy on the claim that Iraqis are hungry for U.S.-bestowed freedom and that they love us and want what we want, then you have to come up with excuses for all of the actions they are taking against us. In other words, you need some person to blame for whatever goes wrong so that you can ewxcuse any failures on our part by referring to our current bogeyman as the source of our problems. Therefore, we can laways pretend that the real problem is that we haven't caught our killed Uday and Qusay Saddam Zarqawi Moqtadr al-Sadr yet. (And we can also find some way to blame our not killing him on our political opponents and thus avoid any responsibility whatsoever).

That is all.

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