Paul From Minneapolis

Friday, May 06, 2005

Thinking About The Escalating Violence in Iraq

On the one hand, it seems inevitable that whoever these guys are, and whatever it is they want, they would try to stage a comeback after the evident body blow of the elections.

Remember those? The elections, when the majority voted in the face of overwhelming pressure not to, including heated fatwahs from the evidently ignorable OBL (that was sweet).

The elections, which did demonstrate to the satisfaction of me and the international community that the majority of Iraqis disagreed strongly with the insurgent view that the elections were not valid.

Stated another way, they clarified that the insurgents were and are not a popular movement for the large majority of Iraqis, and probably have little chance of becoming one. All they can accomplish is chaos, it seems, perhaps in the guise of a civil war between the Sunnis and everyone else.

What a victory would even mean for them, what might follow the chaos, I suspect they have absolutely no idea. In that, they seem to share a characteristic with the guys who planned this war from the American side.

But anyway, given the inevitability of an attempted insurgent comeback, I see doom-saying headlines and pronouncements like this, from the LA Times and re-run in the Strib:

“As the insurgency appears to be roaring back, Iraq's new government shows no sign of having a strategy to deal with the mounting death toll.”

- and I get mad. It's almost like I'm in Wisconsin again.

Because the press does come across as so very willing to provide the spin the insurgents would themselves prefer. That seems pretty plain to me. And I thought we all wanted a decent outcome regardless of our disagreements, you know?

And yet…

It was always an obvious likelihood that the Sunnis surrounding Hussein were not all going to be simply thrilled about his removal. Meaning, there was always going to be a group of rageful hot-blooded men who would be really, really enraged in particular at us. Even if they did grudgingly acquiesce to the new state of affairs.

Which they seem not to have done yet. They seem stuck. They're in the state where they’re taking advantage of how a relatively small group of nihilists and suicidal religious zealots (who seem to be always available in that part of the world) can cause a hell of a lot of trouble, and not a lot can be done about it.

I’m not convinced that W and his crew thought about this possibility much.

So, is there a way to stop it available? Is the media simply correct in their prefiguring of doom, notwithstanding their unseemly eagerness to bring it down upon all our heads?

Or is there a version of rationality among these insurgents, opening the door to a reasonable way out of this for us and the sane Iraqis?

And what if the worst turns out to be true? If they're stuck, are we stuck? Can we bear to walk away and leave the country to chaos?