Sunday, April 11, 2004


I decided not to update about the ongoing fighting in Iraq due to events changing quickly. But now it seems as if the fighting is at a lull (for now anyway) so my thoughts are in order.

For the first 2 or 3 days, the apparent uprising inspiried by radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr caused me to seriously re-evaluate my position in support of the continued occupation. Two serious and spirited debates with my US History teacher exacerbated my thought process. I was afraid. Afraid that Iraq was spinning out of control and that it would ultimately end up as a radical theocracy akin to neighboring Iran, after all, al-Sadr is a Khomeinist.

Now however there are multiple reports that Iran is funneling up to $80 million per month along with several hundred intelligence agents. If this is indeed true, the question asked by many is: what can the US do to stop it? The Bush Administration has been strangely silent on this. Many conservatives hope to use this as a cacus belli to step up American involvement within Iran. If true, yes, I think that this is a declaration of war by Iran. Unfortunately, our hands are tied at the moment. We do not have the troop strength to invade and occupy Iran, even if we did, Bush could never convince the American (let alone the world) public to go along with another war. And soon, Iran will acquire nuclear weapons in order to curb an inevitable American invasion and leverage its weight over Iraq.

I believe that this uprising was primarily done in order to throw off American support for the occupation. They know they cannot match America militarily, but by putting on the impression of a chaotic and bloody uprising, they think the public will turn against it. And by the looks of it, it appears to be working, with public support dropping a whole 7 points, 44% down from 51% three weeks ago. To me, this is potentially diasterous, as many people have taken the defeatist position. Some formerly pro-war people are calling for immediate withdrawl of troops. But unfortunately that is just not possible.

In today's Guardian, Tony Blair, Britian's prime minister points out the consequences of "cutting and running:"
"We are locked in a historic struggle in Iraq. On its outcome hangs more than the fate of the Iraqi people. Were we to fail, which we will not, it is more than 'the power of America' that would be defeated. The hope of freedom and religious tolerance in Iraq would be snuffed out. Dictators would rejoice; fanatics and terrorists would be triumphant. Every nascent strand of moderate Arab opinion, knowing full well that the future should not belong to fundamentalist religion, would be set back in bitter disappointment.

If we succeed - if Iraq becomes a sovereign state, governed democratically by the Iraqi people; the wealth of that potentially rich country, their wealth; the oil, their oil; the police state replaced by the rule of law and respect for human rights - imagine the blow dealt to the poisonous propaganda of the extremists. Imagine the propulsion toward change it would inaugurate all over the Middle East.

In every country, including our own, the fanatics are preaching their gospel of hate, basing their doctrine on a wilful perversion of the true religion of Islam. At their fringe are groups of young men prepared to conduct terrorist attacks however and whenever they can. Thousands of victims the world over have now died, but the impact is worse than the death of innocent people."
Read the rest.

Wretchard of the Belmont Club also helps to put things into perspective and calm my nerves.