Monday, July 16, 2007


While I have no reason to believe that this video, supposedly of soldiers who served at Abu Ghraib, is genuine, I think it is interesting in that the people in this video clearly articulate the crude case for war.

By "crude case for war," I mean the sound-bite, bumper sticker arguments that most of thge warriors use, such as "Don't you realize that if we leave, they will follow us here?" (They?) or "They attacked us first," or "Will it take anoher September 11?"

All of these arguments for us staying the course in Iraq assume that our presence in Iraq is somehow preventing a terrorist attack, and that those who are fighting us in Iraq are largely people who want to follow us home rather than PO'd Iraqis who just want to get us out of their land.

In the end, it all boils down to

(1) The terrorists killed innocent Americans, so we have the right not to worry if we kill innocent Arabs
(2) A lot of Americans were killed by Arabs, so we need to retaliate by killing Arabs (not necessarily the Arabs who were behind the attack, any Arab country will do), and
(3) Anyone who identifies themselves as a Muslim is automatically a terrorists and can be treated as an enemy combatant.

One can make a coherent argument against withdrawing from Iraq. But too many simply conflate Iraqis and all Arabs with the 9/11 hijackers and Al Qaeda and then try to drum up support for the war by fearmongering on this basis (fight them over there so we won't fight them over here) or else a desire for racial vengeance (the people who casued September 11 were Arab Muslims, so attacking any Arab/Muslim country is legitimate retaliation.

This clip is valuable in that it explicitly states the premises that are in a lot of pro-war rhetoric.

That is all.

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