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September 09, 2003

We are in charge here

It would seem that the neocons in Washington do not like criticism of the US policies in Iraq. I presume the critics include what Bill Safire calls the handwringing failure mongers who have a decade of appeasement. They are the merchants of dismay who try to sap the will of the US. But the resolute Republican US will not bend. It will stand firm. It will not abdicate control of Iraq to feckless U.N. bureaucracy. There are no mistakes.

The impression that comes across from reading this neocon stuff is not that the neocons have their back to the wall. Washington would very much like to see a clamp down on dissent. The neocons see dissent as undermining US efforts in Iraq and aiding the enemy. And the enemy is Arabs who dislike America. They are irrational, consumed by hatred of America and Israel, and incapable of exercising reason. In Anne Coulter's words they are lunatic Islamic terrorists, or a swamp of murderous fanatics seek the death of all Americans. So they need to be taken out by the US.

The inference is clear: there is no exit strategy and dissent is treason.

The reality is otherwise.Things are not going well in Iraq. The US is bogged down in Iraq, it doesn't have the money for the extensive nation building, it needs help to restore basic services and has problems with nurturing democracy through the barrel of a gun. As Paul Krugman observes Bush's speech indicated that the US was going to make few concessions. The Bush administration's invoking al-Qaeda to justify the Iraq war is dishonest since Saddam had nothing to do with September 11.

Abu Aardvark has a good account of Bush's speech. Tim Dunlop's judgements are here, Helen Cobban's are here and here for Juan Cole's. judgement.

This this article in the Los Angeles Times is quite scathing.

And I'd been meaning to link to this speech by Marine Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, who says that the US has "no strategy or mechanism for putting the pieces together and so "we're in danger of failing."

Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at September 9, 2003 02:31 PM

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What is a "de Villepin Democrat"?

Posted by: carl at September 9, 2003 05:37 PM

Ha! I figured it out. Dominique de Villepin is the French Foreign Minister, and not very popular in the US.

Posted by: carl at September 11, 2003 01:41 PM

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