Iraqi insurgents, our new allies.

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Mariner, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    I've complained on this message board many times about Bush & Co.'s overly general use of the word "terrorists" and the phrase "war on terrorism."

    I've argued that we should be careful to distinguish Al Qaeda terrorists who committed 9/11 from Palestinian terrorists who have their own goals, from the insurgents in Iraq, who form over 100 different groups with different aims, from Sunni groups angry that we took away their power to Shi'ite groups who hate being occupied even by their liberators.

    Given that terrorists come in different stripes, some might potentially be our allies, as today's New York Times reports (this is an excerpt from the complete article--see the link for the whole thing). Imagine, our sworn enemies are about to become our friends! This is as it should be in war, but makes clear why Bush's overly general way of seeing things is inappropriate.

    An overly general way of seeing things tends to distort perceptions about what's going on (e.g. when people say, "They all want to kill us," that's not true. Some of them simply want us out of Iraq. Some only want a Palestinian state. And others--such as Al Qaeda--really do want to kill us.) It was this type of overly general thinking which led Bush to believe the war was over in 3/03--he'd liberated "the Iraqi people," after all. He forgot to notice that there were three big groups of Iraqi people, and lots of little ones within them, not all of whom were so grateful for U.S. intervention and occupation. More importantly, I believe that the overly general way of seeing things feeds into an "us versus them" mentality which damages our ability to see our enemies' motivations accurately, and tends to make us angry with all Muslims rather than with specific terrorist groups for their own specific reasons.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/12/i.../12insurgent.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print

    Local Insurgents Tell of Clashes With Al Qaeda's Forces in Iraq

    By SABRINA TAVERNISE and DEXTER FILKINS
    BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 11 - The story told by the two Iraqi guerrillas cut to the heart of the war that Iraqi and American officials now believe is raging inside the Iraqi insurgency.

    In October, the two insurgents said in interviews, a group of local fighters from the Islamic Army gathered for an open-air meeting on a street corner in Taji, a city north of Baghdad.

    Across from the Iraqis stood the men from Al Qaeda, mostly Arabs from outside Iraq. Some of them wore suicide belts. The men from the Islamic Army accused the Qaeda fighters of murdering their comrades.

    "Al Qaeda killed two people from our group," said an Islamic Army fighter who uses the nom de guerre Abu Lil and who claimed that he attended the meeting. "They repeatedly kill our people."

    The encounter ended angrily. A few days later, the insurgents said, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and the Islamic Army fought a bloody battle on the outskirts of town.

    The battle, which the insurgents said was fought on Oct. 23, was one of several clashes between Al Qaeda and local Iraqi guerrilla groups that have broken out in recent months across the Sunni Triangle.

    American and Iraqi officials believe that the conflicts present them with one of the biggest opportunities since the insurgency burst upon Iraq nearly three years ago. They have begun talking with local insurgents, hoping to enlist them to cooperate against Al Qaeda, said Western diplomats, Iraqi officials and an insurgent leader.

    It is impossible to say just how far the split extends within the insurgency, which remains a lethal force with a shared goal of driving the Americans out of Iraq. Indeed, the best the Americans can hope for may be a grudging passivity from the Iraqi insurgents when the Americans zero in on Al Qaeda's forces.

    But the split within the insurgency is coinciding with Sunni Arabs' new desire to participate in Iraq's political process, and a growing resentment of the militants. Iraqis are increasingly saying that they regard Al Qaeda as a foreign-led force, whose extreme religious goals and desires for sectarian war against Iraq's Shiite majority override Iraqi tribal and nationalist traditions.

    * * *

    Mariner
     
  2. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    sounds to me like President Bush's "simple minded" plan is working quite well!
     
  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    The maxim "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" does not apply here, although I can see that you would like it to. If Iraqi insurgents are killing al-Qaeda, and vice versa, that just means there's fewer for us to kill. So let them kill each other off. Better yet, tell us when there's going to be a major battle between the two, and we'll promise to "clean up" afterwards!

    Not to mention... you guys on the anti-war Left are always complaining about how, in the Iran-Iraq War, we sided with Saddam, who was the lesser of two evils. Now, you and the NYT are advocatiing that we side with the Iraqi insurgents, the lesser of two evils?!? :wtf:

    It's called the Global War on Terrorism for a reason: we have taken a stand against all terrorists, Muslim or not. Iraqi insurgents are terrorists, and therefore enemies of America. al-Qadea continues to be a band of terrorists; they are also our enemies. So is Hezbollah, Hamas, the Egyptian version of Islamic Jihad (whatever their name is this week)... all terrorists, all enemies.
     
  4. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    let me see if i have this right......

    he has been making a huge mistake calling them all terrorist......

    now they are starting to kill each other and you want him to stop ?


    :wtf:
     
  5. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Common denominator: ALL Islamic extremists/terrorist organizations consider the USA "the evil Satan" and are bent on our complete annihilation from the planet.

    Distinguishing between each group's specific individual goals is a moot issue so long as they all lead to the aforementioned destruction of Western civilization/Christianity.

    I really could care less personally WHAT their reasoning is for committing acts of terror on mostly civilian populations. I only care that they do and are forced to face the reckoning for their crimes against civilization.
     
  6. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Yes ....calling terrorist "terrorists" in not en vogue in certain crowds that would rather gather round in the Rap Room sing "Kumbaya" and share group hugs with serial murderers.
     
  7. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    In reality, I think that many of the Iraqi "terrorists" will probably abandon their affiliation as time goes on and it becomes apparent the govt and Constitution of Iraq is going to stay.

    I think it is wise for the US to encourage such things. I have read about some such situations, and it is occuring.
     
  8. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    "Common denominator: ALL Islamic extremists/terrorist organizations consider the USA "the evil Satan" and are bent on our complete annihilation from the planet."

    That's exactly what's not true. They all have different aims, and some of them could care less about us, e.g. if we simply got off their land.

    I am delighted that we are working with different terrorist groups to help them undo one another. I never wrote that I wanted it to stop. I was pointing out that this was a change of policy from simple-minded "us vs. them" to a more nuanced and realistic recognition that there are lots of different "thems." It represents a positive evolution of Bush's approach, and I hope it is followed by more nuanced public statements that more accurately reflect the complexities on the ground.

    As for whether Bush's approach is working, I've already promised to vote Republican in 2008 if there is actually a functioning democracy in Iraq and no further insurgency.

    Mariner.
     
  9. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    Generally, those are the same dim bulbs who like to call President Bush a terrorist. Go figure.
     
  10. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Define "functioning democracy." Arab culture steeped in Islam as it is, will likely NEVER accept democracy as we know it. So, is this "functioning democracy" you speak of a realistic expectation of democarcy tailored to Arab culture and Islam, or does it have to be a mirror-image "USA Jr.?"
     

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