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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, July 25, 2005

Iraq: This is now an unwinnable conflict

The Independent's Patrick Cockburn has spent "half my time living in Iraq since the invasion." On a return from another tour of duty, one of the world's great journalists explains that present day Iraq is far worse than our Western media is letting on. He portrays a devastated country with random violence, virtually no reconstruction and a deluded American administration.

"The war, which started out as a demonstration of US strength as the world's only superpower, has turned into a demonstration of weakness. Its 135,000-strong army does not control much of Iraq", he writes.

Then the key analysis:

"The suicide bombing campaign in Iraq is unique. Never before have so many fanatical young Muslims been willing to kill themselves, trying to destroy those whom they see as their enemies. On a single day in Baghdad this month 12 bombers blew themselves up. There have been more than 500 suicide attacks in Iraq over the last year. It is this campaign which has now spread to Britain and Egypt. The Iraq war has radicalised a significant part of the Muslim world. Most of the bombers in Iraq are non-Iraqi, but the network of sympathisers and supporters who provide safe houses, money, explosives, detonators, vehicles and intelligence is home-grown."


Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

A valuabe article. Thanks for posting.

It is telling that this kind of massive militant campaign was never coordinated in opposition to the secular Baathists. Clearly the hatred felt by the terrorists and their supporters in Iraq goes far beyond the often-claimed hatred of secular values.

What will happen when the intelligence community is finally able to convince the war-mongers that "stay the course" is not going to defeat anti-western terrorism? I think that Shrub and his supporters will continue with that line for a long time - and many thousands more lives will be lost. Then what? There must be a tipping point.

The Economist, and some left-ist commentators such as Daniel Smith at FPIF, are calling for more troops. They already see the futility of the current strategy (if you can even call it that). Play to win, they say, and end the threats to those you claim to be liberating. Yet Johnny "Stay the Course/Finish The Job" Howard has stated that no more troops will go. The US cannot recruit enough young people.

So we can't cut and run, we have to stay the course. But there is no evidence that the current course is having any positive impact at all. Meanwhile, the Whitehouse and the 101st Fighting Keyboardists continue to tell us that everything is going alright.

I don't know what will happen when they realise (admit?) the truth. Til then, more die. And you can guarantee that it won't be Bush or Howard doing the dying - only the talking.

Monday, July 25, 2005 8:56:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

The propaganda will continue. Stay the course, defeat terrorism etc etc. The similarities to Vietnam become more obvious by the day.
Sadly you're right about our leaders not admitting their mistakes for a very long time, until, of course, Middle America, especially, starts to rebel.
It's already brewing...

Monday, July 25, 2005 9:43:00 pm  

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