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Let's see if Jim Pinkerton gets pummeled from within the conservative order for pointing out the obvious problem with the Iraq occupation.

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  1. Did the man actually get paid for that column? A completely inaccurate comparison and overly broad supposed quotes from leaders do not a factual assessment make.

    Fact is that the Iraqis will eventually figure out that governing themselves is not that damned hard and that power is everything. When they see that the oil money can bring them a similar life that those in the UAE enjoy, they’ll ensure they get things under control and that we leave as soon as practicable.

    I am certain no one in the White House believes that we can – in any way – control the future of Iraq. All we can do – and have done – is steer it very slightly away from certain doom.

  2. Iraq is different for one very big reason: the Soviet Union is gone.

    Fear of the Soviets and their allies was immensely useful in the construction of stable democracies in Germany and Japan and of a stable military oligarchy in Korea that evolved into democracy later. There is nothing comparable on the borders of Iraq, as far as the Sunnis in that country are concerned. However, in a country where some 80% of the population is not Sunni Arab it may be possible to generate possible outcomes that Iraqis fear more than they hate the foreigners in their country.

  3. ” There is nothing comparable on the borders of Iraq”

    IRAN?

  4. The analogy between Israel?s fight for a homeland (a land previously occupied only by nomadic tribes with no established sovereignty) and the Iraqi occupation is about as accurate as comparing the American revolutionaries with the Nazi Werewolves. (The fragments of the Nazi soldiers that fought on in strength until 1947 with some straggles lasting until ?49.)

    One was fighting for sovereignty where no recognizable native government existed previously and the other was part of a recently deposed murderous dictatorship.

    This awkward attempt at relativism only shows Pinkerton?s thinly veiled contempt for Israel and our support of them. Why else bring up such an otherwise inconsequential and disconnected example?

  5. This article is actually so disjointed and factually incorrect that I’m surprised Reason even linked, even if it is just for fun.

  6. ?Which is to say, the hunter-killers lurking in Iraqi back alleys wouldn’t last if they lacked support from the native population.?

    This might be a correct statement if Pinkerton had said ?wouldn?t last [very long i.e. a year or so] if they.?. .

    Truth is the Iraqi are still waiting to see if the Americans are going to stay long enough to completely rid the country of the Baathists. With our early departure in the first Gulf War and with the UN and so many others pushing for our early withdrawal now, the Iraqis are wise not to turn against the Baathists and their foreign reinforcements.

    Pinkerton is well aware of this as well so the only conclusion that can be drawn from his statements is a blatant disregard for anything approaching an honest treatment of this subject.

  7. ?In those two zones, [Gaza & the West Bank] the once mostly secular Arab population has been radicalized and Islamicized by 36 years of Israeli rule. ?

    Wow. This guy has no shame. Assuming that Pinkerton isn?t a malicious liar (and that would be a false assumption) he is apparently completely ignorant of how those patches of land came to be under Israeli control.

    Had Israel?s Arab neighbors been successful in their hostilities against her, does anyone seriously think that the Jews would have been allowed to live at all, much less live in the now ?occupied? territory?

    This seems to be some kind of two-fold straw man for Reason. One purpose of course is to bolster their case against deposing Saddam and the other to show how ?even conservatives? are against the war. This has failed obviously as Pinkerton?s entire article is one canard after another.

  8. Pinkerton asks ” Do we really want to be fighting Arabs on their home turf for decades to come?”

    Well of course we don’t but if radical Muslims want to continue their terrorism against us isn’t it better the war take place in their land, against our military as opposed to terrorism being enacted in the US against a variety of nonmilitary (innocent) targets? If the terrorists aren’t going to be stopped we have no choice to hunt them down and kill them. Better it be done by soldiers trained and accepting such risks in another country than to have incompetent local police and national guard types tripping over themselves fighting terrorists in our cities.

    Doesn’t anybody else get this simple choice?

  9. jag: You’re completely right

  10. Pinkerton asks ” Do we really want to be fighting Arabs on their home turf for decades to come?”

    Since we will be fighting them somewhere, I suggest that we do wo on their turf, not ours. I hope it doesn’t last decades, but the one sure route to that result is to take the counsel of our fears and use half-measures.

  11. I say we stay in Iraq as long as it takes to draw as many terrorists as possible into the fight there. Relatively speaking, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

  12. I see the wartrolls are eating their Wheaties today. They declare Pinkerton’s hypothesis is wrong because the United States won’t stick around Iraq long enough to permanently atagonize the Iraqi population, yet their culture hero/god-king G.W. announced just earlier this week, “Retreat in the face of terror would only invite further and bolder attacks. There will be no retreat.” And since I know I will be accused of taking that quote out of context, here’s a link to that full page of the transcript: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/26/politics/26TEXT-BUSH.html?pagewanted=4&ei=1&en=77410afe6b8abc5d&ex=1062948826

    So, which is it, warsies? Is the Marcus Aurelian/Solomonic/Hammurabic figure of George W. Bush lying or is the US occupation regime going to be in Iraq for years and years, breeding generations of Iraqis with personal loathing for
    America?

  13. jag, do you sincerely believe that people will join a military where the job description is, “Stand at a checkpoint in a desert until you’re killed/wounded or one year is up, whichever comes first”? The Pentagon is already getting queasy about reenlistment rates.

  14. My bet is that Jack is a parody of the typical anti-war debater. First, be very rude. Second, present fallacies as arguments (false choice fallacy).

  15. As long as cultures and standards of living differ, there are going to be skirmishes, battles, and wars.

    The U.S. can keep armed men in all of the countries it wants for as long as it wants, as long as their deaths are ‘acceptable’ to the U.S. public.

    Even if we (the U.S.) took over the entire world, there would still be ‘terrorists’ killing our soldiers.

    It will never end, but I find it fascinating that everyone that kills an American now is labeled as a ‘terrorist.’

    If another country invaded the U.S. and tried to set up a puppet government while having their armed soldiers all over the place, would I be a terrorist if I did whatever it took to try to kill them? If by blowing myself up or planting bombs to kill enemy soldiers I was able to build on the momentum of the occupying force’s home populace being against the occupation, would I not have a reasonable purpose in what I was doing?

    Is the U.S. always right?

    The killings will continue in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. And the cowboy refuses to ‘back down,’ so it is going to continue as long as he’s in office. It is because he sees any action other than staying in Iraq and thumbing our noses at the enemy as ‘backing down’ that we are going to get nowhere.

  16. To “The Real Jack”: I’ve been posting here since almost day one using this handle and I provide a working e-mail address.

    How have I been “*very* rude”? (I agree that I am blunt.) People who come here primarily to whine about the sorts of links Reason staffers choose to post in the blog and accuse them of being communists, fifth columnists, defeatists, etc. seem far more rude to me.

    As for false choices, I am simply repaying kind in kind. (See, e.g., the claim that the choice is Islamic terrorists killing American troops in Iraq or killing American civilians in the U.S.)

  17. Jack,

    Do you sincerely believe anyone in their right mind would enlist thinking that they would NOT be at put at risk in some fashion? Maybe there are some dopes who think they can join and weasel out if the heat rises but I’d be willing to bet that most enlistees are willing to HONOR their commitment and duty.
    Believe it or not Jack, there are people who will risk their lives for something like other people’s freedom. It used to be considered a noble thing when men assumed that risk for others but I guess a large number of people think dying for anything is a suckers bet these days.
    Certainly no one wants to be a target nor does anyone want our soldiers to be targets IF there is an alternative. Again, we seem to have a choice; kill them over there with professional soldiers or sit back and let them attack innocents here. I think it makes the most sense for well armed, well trained Americans kill them over there as efficiently as possible.

  18. Wow, Ray, why did all those mean Arabs move to Palestine from Yemen and Algeria, and start a guerilla war against Israel?

    And, an even bigger mystery, who built all those houses in those established towns and cities, and leave them sitting there empty for immigrants to move into? We all know nomadic tribes don’t build houses and cities.

    Being on the right side of history sure is easy. Just make sure you pick the right year to begin your narrative.

  19. ….cause every structure, farm and piece of infrastructure was already there when the dirtyjews stole the nation-state of Palistine (see Tel Aviv).

  20. joe,

    As everyone knows the correct year to pick is 1948.

  21. jag, I am sure that most people who enlist in the military do so with the knowledge their lives are at risk. But I would imagine most of them enlist also with the hope that they might accomplish something. The problem with your human flypaper argument is two-fold: 1. It assumes that there are a finite number of terrorists in the world; 2. It assumes that terrorists will spend their efforts exclusively on attacking U.S. military targets in Iraq.

    Both of those assumptions are demonstrably false. New people have been constantly recruited to terrorist organizations, regardless of what was going on in Iraq. Indeed, the occupation is probably even encouraging some Iraqis to become terrorists who would otherwise have been happy to keep working their day-to-day jobs. Unless the US somehow manages to kill more terrorists each month than are generated, the occupation cannot succeed. Yet since there is no direct way to know how many terrorists are working in Iraq at any given time, the only way we can guess is by the frequency of attacks. U.S. military personnel on the ground claim the frequency is increasing. Heck, even administration officials have admitted the frequency is increasing (although they like to claim that shows the resistance is “getting desparate”.)

    As to the second point, assuming John Ashcroft is correct about smashing “dozens” of terrorist plots against the US in the past year, it appears that there is little to no correlation between the occupation of Iraq and terrorism on US soil. The lack of successful terrorist attacks would be attributable to improved law enforcement work, not a lack of attempts (which your theory suggests). Let me cite some more examples: Did the presence of hundreds of thousands of French troops and police in Algeria in the late 1950s and early 1960s prevent the FLN terrorist group from carrying out attacks in France? Did the presence of ten thousand-plus British troops and police in Northern Ireland during the 1970s, 80s and 90s prevent the IRA from carrying out attacks in Britain? If your theory didn’t work in these instances, why would it work now?

  22. “I say we stay in Iraq as long as it takes to draw as many terrorists as possible into the fight there. Relatively speaking, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.”

    Of course, they are the ones doing the shooting, and we’re the ones supplying the fish.

  23. “Of course, they are the ones doing the shooting, and we’re the ones supplying the fish.”

    our troops must be firing blanks.

  24. Having a vast Union army in the South didn’t prevent the KKK from lynching blacks. There would have been less terrorism to black people if the Union Army had been withdrawn.

  25. joe,

    I would recommend a more exhaustive study on the history of Israel.

    In a nutshell, the palestinian area generally regarded as Israel, the West Bank and Gaza was a no man’s land. You obviously did not read my first post or simply did not understand the correlation.

    There has never been a single Palestinian people. What tribes did not belong to larger, established sovereignties were and still continue to be shuffled to and fro.

    So the Israelis did not remove a sovereign people nor did they conquer an otherwise normally inhabited land. No one cared about palestine until the Jews wanted to call it home, and this started well before 1948.

    If there were no Israel, do you really think there would be a sovereign country called Palestine? Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt would simply be geographically larger than they are now.

    Not being able to make a case that there ever would have been an actual sovereign Palestine, the rest of the anti-Israel argument is nothing but blather.

    And those poor palestinian people are in the “occupied” spaces because they are not welcome anywhere else. They are treated like dirt in Jordan and Egypt inasmuch they are tolerated at all. Do some real history and you’ll find mass expulsions of palestinians from their supposed brothers’ nations.

    In essence, they’ve been squeezed into those areas by their Arab brothers so that they can be the excuse to wage their genocidal war on the Jews.

  26. “In a nutshell, the palestinian area generally regarded as Israel, the West Bank and Gaza was a no man’s land.” I’m sure it was as “empty” and “unimproved” as North America in 1620. The excuse back then was that the Wampanoags planted their fields erratically, instead of in the straight rows that God intended. Why exactly don’t property rights apply to Palestinians.

    Oh, yeah, because they weren’t a “sovereign” people. The land wasn’t “normally inhabited.” They weren’t a “single people.” Word games, Ray. People lived in their homes, until they were driven out of them. That isn’t right.

  27. “People lived in their homes, until they were driven out of them. That isn’t right.”

    Why those mean Jews! Whatever made them do that?

    Here’s a more good rephrasing of my earlier post:

    Being on the self-righteous side of history is also as easy as picking the right date.

  28. Joe,

    “Being on the right side of history sure is easy. Just make sure you pick the right year to begin your narrative” Etc

    Ok. The expulsion of the moors from Spain was entirely justified because the Spaniads were there first, & the moors were invaders anyway. I think the Turks should leave Turkey – its all Greece. And Pakistan is actually India. Etc.

  29. joe,

    So you did get my correlation to the American settlers. You’re completely right. If the Jews are evil for displacing a non-autonomous, semi-nomadic people, then you and I are just as guilty.

    Please note though, that you will be hard pressed to find a people in history that have not founded their current home over someone else’s.

    Keeping this in mind, where do you draw the line in history? It’s ok for you but not the Jews?

    We generally go on about our comfortable American lives not worrying too much about it because we understand that a fragmented non-sovereign people were going to be displaced by a more civilized (more brutal?) society one way or another.

    So regardless of how you feel about all of this, it still destroys the argument that there would otherwise be a singlular Palestinian state. Indirectly you are saying that it would have been ok if the Egyptians or the Syrians would have come and displaced the mishmash of tribes that we now refer to as palestinians, but it’s not ok if the Jews do it.

    So your arguments do sound nice on paper but once REAL history is examined, joe, JDM & Co are not only wrong, but hypocrites.

  30. Just for the record, I’m not arguing in favor of the elimination of Israel, the “right of return,” the expulsion of the Jews from Palestine, or anything else. I’m just pointing out the glaring errors of the Likudnik faction, and their politically motivated attempts to deny the indisputable fact of the historical ties that Palestinian Arabs have to Palestine. These attempts are as idiotic and barbaric as the attempts by the Palestinians’ to deny Jewish ties to the same.

  31. Ray,

    My posts were directed at joe’s absurd contention that it was you who was merely picking a convenient date to start the historical narrative.

  32. I’m sorry. I forgot that I’m dealing with emotional recactionaries who might have a hard time dealing with real facts.

    So I’ll break it down for you.

    You, as an American (Canadian, whatever) citizen are no better than the occupying Israeli. So where do we draw the line on disapproving of carving a homeland for your own people, regardless of whom it displaces?

    There is not and never has been a Palestinian person or nation. There was only a mishmash of semi-nomadic, non-autonomous tribes. If there were not an Israel today, there would still not be a sovereign Palestine.

    So we can discuss the moral consequences of occupying other lands all day long but the case for a singlular Palestinian state is made possible only by the existence of Israel in the first place. If the neighboring Arab countries were not bent on Jewish genocide, the idea of a Palestinian country would have never even been broached.

  33. joe,

    Your Likudnik post makes sense but it doesn’t go far enough.

    Two people want the same plot of land and as near as I can tell, the Jews’ claim goes farther back. Not that I particularly care about the time/claim part of this; I’m living on what used to be Pima Indian land (PhxAZ). But if time is the deciding factor, the Jews win.

    Taking it to a more realistic point, the Jews are willing to co-exist, there are good deal of Arab citizens of Israel.

    And that, I believe, is the salient point. The Jews want to exist and basically be left alone, their neighbors want to kill every last one of them.

    The “occupied” territories are only in Israeli possession because of the aggression of their Arab neighbors. If you lived in Israel, would you give back the Golan Heights, for example.

    And the so called palestinian people are nothing more than pawns anyway, being used by their “brothers” as an excuse for further antagonism and aggression against any Jewish state.

  34. Jack,

    I don’t imagine that all of the terrorists will be killed in Iraq. However, there doesn’t seem to be much doubt that many wouldbe terroist recruits are entering Iraq to take a shot at Americans. The more of these “hotheads” we manage to kill, the fewer will be available to recruit and attack us elsewhere. Further, successfully killing these terrorists should show our resolve to others who might be “on the fence”. As the master terrorist himself said “people gravitate to the strong horse”. Bin Laden said he attacked us because of our weakness and lack of resolve to fight him. Yeah, we can sit back and maybe do a reasonable job of disrupting them but that doesn’t address the core problem of uprooting systems that foster terrorism.
    In this regard I found your statement “Indeed, the occupation is probably even encouraging some Iraqis to become terrorists who would otherwise have been happy to keep working their day-to-day jobs” fascinating. Iraqis lived under terror, the stories are legion, no one was safe from the whim of Saddam and his sons. No doubt the few Iraqis who had happy lives and were disrupted by our invasion were those who enabled or benefited from Saddam’s terror and now might want to shot at us.
    These are the kind of people we should be concerned with? The ones who stood by while Uday raped and murdered their daughters? Now these pigs are indignant with our “occupation” and prefer that life to one with the possibility of freedom?
    Please. Killing these kinds of Iraqis will only hasten the day when people can go back to their “day to day” jobs without abject fear hanging over their heads.

  35. I suggest everyone pick up a history book and take note: We (the U.S.), are heading down the same road the British did several hundred years ago. We will go anywhere in the world that might be an interest to this country and occupy as long as we damn well please. As far as hunting down terrorist, here is a thought: if you have a mosquito problem, do you keep killing them or go after the source (pond, swamp, puddle of water, etc.)? You go and try to exterminate at the source. We can kill terrorists from now until the end of time, but they will keep coming. Or we can go after the reasons why the become fanatical and stop the recruiting machine. One of MANY reasons there is an ample supply of terrorists is U.S. foreign policy. We are well know for backing coups, doing “humanitarian” campaigns, and telling other countries what to do. There are many other reasons as well. When we deciede to abmit the causes, then we can begin to stop the recruiting machine.

  36. Whit

    We are in the swamp, with a big stinking can of DDT.

    More to the point of how we got started on this subject; Pinkerton’s article is a disjointed accumulation of borderline anti-semitic drivel with a few incongruent and factually incorrect analogies thrown in for effect.

  37. Concerning the whole debate on the historical context of Israel’s founding, consider that after World War Two the Allies decided the Jews needed their own country in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the Holocaust. With this, I agree. But it was the Germans who perpetrated the Holocaust, not the Palestinians. Personally, I always thought the Jews should have been given Germany rather than Palestine, and that the Germans should have been the ones forcibly removed from their homes to make way for Israeli settlers. Why doesn’t Germany now turn over a chunk of its land to the Palestinians? That way the Palestinians will finally have a homeland, and they can build casinos and recoup their lost heritage from the profits! . . .In case anyone accuses me of being an anti-German racist, let me point out the otherwise irrelevant fact that my father was of German ancestry.

  38. Jeff Smith,

    I don’t think there was any significant guerrilla activity in the Home Islands, largely because the emperor formally surrendered, and was left on the throne. So there was some continuity of government and the Japanese’ devotion to the emperor was to a large degree carried over to the MacArthur regency.

  39. jag wrote: “No doubt the few Iraqis who had happy lives and were disrupted by our invasion were those who enabled or benefited from Saddam’s terror and now might want to shot at us.”

    [very rude] Do you actually read news accounts (or any sort of history books)? [/very rude] Plenty of everyday people under even the most brutal regimes imaginable find it worth fighting for their homeland against “liberators”. Maybe most news reports from Iraq in which people who say they hated the Ba’ath government but now hate the Americans are made up, but if even 1% of those stories are true, my position is still correct: the occupation is leading people to commit terrorist acts who otherwise would’ve stuck to driving taxis, serving food in restaurants, etc.

    As for your claim that even if the flypaper strategy is not 100% effective, it is still preferable, I would say the statistics rebut that. Let’s take the four month period of May 1, 2003 to August 31, 2003 (I will generously assume no more casualties will result in Iraq over the next three days) and compare it with the time period last year, May 1, 2002 to August 31, 2002.

    During Period 1, how many Americans were killed by terrorists in Iraq? At least 66 (deaths sometimes aren’t reported as combat-related for a couple days). How many Americans were killed by Islamic terrorist attacks within the territorial confines of the U.S. during that time? Zero.

    Now, let’s look at Period 2, how many Americans were killed by terrorists in Iraq? Zero. How many Americans were killed by Islamic terrorist attacks within the territorial confines of the U.S. during that time? Zero.

    During which time period was the U.S. net better off? Period 2 obviously, and that’s before we even factor in the dollar amounts being spent. Granted, this is a limited block of time, but I am confident that as the length of the occupation extends, we can expand these periods and find the same results.

    Indeed, we can produce an equation describing the flypaper strategy as “Whether (actual dead/wounded American/coalition soldiers + actual dead/wounded Iraqi civilians + actual cost of occupation) is greater than or less than (probable dead/wounded American civilians + probable cost of damage).” If “less than”, the strategy is working, if “greater than” the strategy is failing.

  40. Ray, I’m glad you forthrightly admit that “might makes right” is the basis of your theory. If it is “natural” for weaker groups to be supplanted by stronger ones, than who are we to interfere? Israel has earned its imperium through the right of conquest.

    But but but…if that is the controlling law, then why should we send billions of dollars to Israel so it can beef up its military? Wouldn’t it be more natural for it to meet the inevitable military catasthrophe that would occur without our money, equipment, and diplomatic interference?

    Of course, I’m being absurd. I don’t actually think you believe in the right of conquest. I think you’ll just write anything.

  41. catasthrophe. I’m turning into Sylvester.

  42. Ray,

    So what? Most nation-states didn’t exist until the last two-hundred years (many of them not even in the last sixty). Arguing that Palestinians can’t now consider themselves a nation becdause they weren’t a nation two hundred years ago is a bit like arguing that Indonesians can’t call themselves a nation because there wasn’t an Indonesia two hundred years ago. Nationalities are artificial creations; they are in the words of one author “imagine communities.” This is why most of the “traditions” of the English royal family stretch back to the ancient days of the early 19th century.

  43. Joe,

    Israel’s sole claim to the land it sets on is by right of conquest; this is the case with most nation-states (think about China’s occupation of Tibet for example).

    Ray,

    Some Jews want to co-exist, others do not; which of course why Israel practices the discriminatory land sales that it does, trying to keep land and thus power out of the hands of Arabs.

  44. Actually, Pinkerton has been off the neocon reservation all along with regard to Iraq. Still, I think his analogy is a bit off. Iraq strikes me more as the U.S.’s Northern Ireland than Gaza.

  45. I saw Pinkerton a long time ago at a Heritage
    Foundation event when he was a bright young
    thing. My reaction then was that he was a
    completely overhyped lightweight – the sort
    of faux intellectual one usually associates
    with the left – long on index cards and name
    dropping and short on depth.

    That said, this piece is not too bad, though
    I think it misses the point. There is no
    scenario under which the US and UK stay in
    Iraq for 30 years. I am not there is one in
    which they stay for three years. We will
    declare victory and leave some government in
    place behind us long before that. Thus, I
    think he is making up a straw person and then
    beating on it. The public has no patience
    for long foreign adventures, and domestic
    thugs (our thugs of course, not bad thugs)
    can keep order much better than we can,
    as they are not limited by our laws and they
    will not have TV cameras around.

    My thoughts.

    Jeff

  46. Pinkerton blows one factual point. He claims that “Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair touted the Iraq operation as fast and easy.”

    I defy anyone to find any quote from W to this effect. All along, he has been warning of a long and difficult task.

    Pinkerton also assumes that we will stay in Iraq until the Islamists are defeated. I seriously doubt this. I believe that we can, and should, and will likely, pull out as soon as the Iraqis have their feet under them and can fight the Islamists themselves.

    Of course, if we are stupid enough to try and stay indefinitely, then we will probably be killing Islamists in Iraq indefinitely. And they will be killing our boys in Iraq for just as long.

  47. “There is no scenario under which the US and UK stay in Iraq for 30 years.”

    No. We’ll be there much longer.

  48. wow, he sets up a false comparison between two different areas under entirely different historical circumstances. except both areas are arab and muslim, and we know all of “those people” are exactly the same.

    sooooo obvious, damn any evil conservative that dares question this.

  49. “Pinkerton also assumes that we will stay in Iraq until the Islamists are defeated. I seriously doubt this. I believe that we can, and should, and will likely, pull out as soon as the Iraqis have their feet under them and can fight the Islamists themselves.”

    I hope you are right, but how different is Iraq from Germany, Japan, and Korea? We didn’t leave those states to fight the communists themselves once they had their feet under them.

  50. I have an historical question that I have been
    wondering about for a while. Was there any
    lingering guerilla activity in Germany or
    Japan after WW2?

    Jeff

  51. werewolves in germany, dudes on pacific islands shooting people well into 1960s. both nations also had/have domestic terrorist factions (red brigades, etc).

  52. Mitch’s analysis is better than Pinkerton’s, which is scary because shows a stronger basis for being stuck in that ditch. The Israeli analogy is inapt because the Israelis have nowhere else to go, whereas we are much less committed to Iraqi soil.

  53. “I hope you are right, but how different is Iraq from Germany, Japan, and Korea? We didn’t leave those states to fight the communists themselves once they had their feet under them.”

    The residents of Germany, Japan, and Korea would be very surprised to learn that they have been living under US occupation for the past 57 years. Having military bases and mutual self-defense treaties is not the same as occupation.

  54. Good job distinguishing between the policies of the Sharon government, the opinions of most Israelis, and “the Jews.” If there were not a state of war in Israel, Sharon wouldn’t stand a chance of being elected PM.

    Sort of like Arafat. Or Bush.

  55. Rick Barton,

    _Righteous Victims_ is also very good.

  56. The idea that it’s preferable to cut funds for customs agents, border patrols, and port security to enable the prosecution of a war half a world away would be laughably stupid if the consequences weren’t so potentially catastrophic.

  57. EMAIL: master-x@canada.com
    IP: 82.146.43.155
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    DATE: 02/28/2004 02:57:43
    Some nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

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