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Taking a reality check « Previous | |Next »
March 30, 2003

John Howard, the Australian Prime Mnister and leading Coalition hawk, is reported to have said that the Iraqi war is going extremely well. He says:

"I believe in all the circumstances the war is going extremely well. To those who are suggesting that because it hasn't in effect resulted in complete victory in the space of a week, I suggest they take a reality check."

Well, I have been taking a reality check--- I watched BBC World News for several hours in the small hours of the morning until I fell asleep. I am not persuaded that the war is going extremely well.

The hawks confuse the issue as usual. On their terms the war in Iraq is a part of the overall war on terrorism that is target at a militant Islamic fundamentalism. On this account the war in Iraq is just one battle in a wide-ranging long-term war. All that Howard is saying is that this particular battle is going okay despite the need to change military tactics.

But the war itelf is not going extremely well. This paragraph indicates why:

"Large civilian casualties in Baghdad will cost the US not just Iraqi hearts and minds but the goodwill of the international community and entrench hostility in the Arab world, where support for Iraq has risen with the bloodshed."

Entrenched Arab hostility means an increase in Arab resistance to the hegemony of the US, a rise in Arab fundamentalism, increased instablity of those despotic Arab regimes that support the US and a targeting of Syria and Iran as enemies. Thus we have a deepening of the perception among Arabs that this is a war against Islam and the construction of Islam as being anti-Christian and anti-western amongst the Anglo-American nation-states.

This is going badly. It is the hawks who ought to take a reality check.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:28 AM | | Comments (2)


and, most scarily of all, there is no exit plan, no budget projection, no timetable, and even worse little ammo, water and MREs for the frontline troops. I am aghast.

This better get sorted fast or there will be regime change amongst the Anglo Crusaders before Iraq.

The neo-cons haven't given much consideration to the war on terrorism as distinct from the battle for Iraq. They primarily see a political conflict about modernization and development in military terms. Not a very useful approach to SE Asia where the war is constructed in terms of a war on Islam.