• Marccooper5_1

Back To Home Page

« Bushism R.I.P. 9/11/2001 - 9/02/05 | Main | »

Thursday, September 15, 2005



I listened to the latter half of the Great Hitchens-Galloway Debate tonight - it was maddening. Personal bile obscured serious arguments - and when politics did prevail it was like listening to a squabble between members of two opposing leftwing sects over who was in possession the Holy Grail. Not sure which one is more detached from reality, crassly opportunistic or reductioinist on the issue of the Iraq war (pick a heroic liberator - George Bush or the local insurgents - purely schoolboy shit.) Both of them seemed rather slippery in defending their personal reputations against the other. But for sheer entertainment value, it was better than pissing away a couple of hours watching reality TV.


Looks like the Hitchens/Galloway Grapple in the Apple is going to be telecast on C-Span this weekend. Scratch what I said about "better than" pissing away several hours watching reality TV.


Danziger: "If you're for the war and for the left, you should come to cheer him (Galloway) on because he's a millstone around progressive causes here and in the U.K."

Please Marc...you can't agree with that smarmy, either confused/contradictory or patently reactionary notion.


"Apart from being a shill for Saddam (and for Stalin) Mr. Galloway is also a sleazy and corrupt dandy – a tad homophobic, pro-death penalty, and belives – as a pro-lifer—that Teri Schiavo was “murdered.”"

Politics does make strange bedfellows, huh? I'm pro-Iraq war, but also pro-gay rights, anti-death-penalty, and pro-abortion rights.

Probably many of the anti-war activists share those latter positions with me, but they would consider me a wingnut, and Galloway their hero.

BTW, is there any chance that Galloway is a Rove plant?


The outburst of ad hominem against Galloway says a lot more about its author than about George G., who whatever he may have said or done in the past, is telling the truth about what's happening in Iraq.

For that alone, he deserves support from others who oppose the war.

Why is it necessary for every opponent of the war to be beyond reproach when real monsters like Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush lie about a war that involves ongoing torture and mass murder? How serious is MC about opposing that?

A little perspective here is all it takes to see that the anti-war movement can't be too picky about its allies.

It's ludicrous to assert that if wide targets like Fonda, or Sheehan or Galloway are allowed into anti-war forums, the right will succeed in tarring the whole movement. Who would doubt that the right will do that anyway? They called Bill Clinton a peacenik and left-wing extremist.

Bottom line: Galloway is telling the truth about the war, Hillary Clinton and her ilk are not. It is perfectly possible, legitimate and worthwhile to support Galloway's message whether or not you support his political record or all of his political position.

If Colin Powell tomorrow comes out and says he's against the war, is MC going to then insist that he stay out of the anti-war tent, given his pro-war career?

It's beyond dumb to pretend that a "clean" anti-war movement is going to make any difference to the ability of the right-wing noise machine to yawp its godawful lies.

Marc Cooper's attack on Galloway is a classic smear job. Even if we overlook the crude name-calling (can't he leave that to Hitchens? he's so much better at it) we have Cooper implying that there is no legitimate resistance to the occupation of Iraq.

MC quotes Galloway saying great things about the resistance and even uses scare quotes around the word resistance, as if there is no such thing as a real resistance in Iraq. That is appalling.

From there, MC makes the logical leap that this means
Galloway supports suicide bombings! This is no better than Ann Coulter-style guilt by misrepresentation.

If there is no legitimate resistance in Iraq, who, then, speaks for the families of the children slaughtered in U.S. attacks? Who is seeking justice for the victims of Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Gitmo? The U.S. military justice system? Is that what MC believes? I doubt it, but that is the only logical extension of his views on this that I can see.

Or is Cooper claiming that these victims have no reason to rebel because, in their midst, are murderous jihadis providing the only shreds of military defense available to them?

Morally, the invasion of Iraq is unassailably is wrong. It just won't do to fault Iraqis for relying on murderous fanatics for defense, when their only other choice is to sit by idly and watch their children slaughtered, sons tortured and killed by people they never threatened in any way.

``Oily goose'' indeed. The slime here is from Cooper's pen in trying to assert Galloway supports suicide bombers just because he believes Iraqis have a right to resist and that SOME of the people who are resisting are heroes.

Jim Russell

"It's ludicrous to assert that if wide targets like Fonda, or Sheehan or Galloway are allowed into anti-war forums, the right will succeed in tarring the whole movement."

People are known by the company they keep. It is extremist like Galloway that are tarring....no, killing you.


``People are known by the company they keep.''

No, they are not. People PRETEND to know other people by the company they keep. Guilt by association may be a popular smear tactic, but it is not a salutary one.

Henry Kissinger does a thriving business and maintains the status of an elder statesman, despite his close association with atrocities on just about every continent. He just happens to be on the "right" side of the news media.

Jim is correct that the right-wing noise machine relies on guilt-by-association for much of its anti-peace propaganda, but that doesn't mean the left should pretend that denying the truth Galloway speaks about the war is going to prevent that.

What's wrong with condemning and questioning Galloway's past positions or alliances, while at the same time making clear that we emphatically agree with what he is saying about Iraq? In fact, the caveats about his past should be parenthetical; this isn't a moral beauty contest, it's a struggle against nothing less than a vicious war machine.

There's no denying that Galloway comes to the anti-war movement with some baggage, but Cooper has yet to even arrive at the peace camp and Hitchens spends every ounce of his overextended rhetorical endowment lobbing pro-Bush and pro-war stink bombs in all directions.

However tainted Galloway's contribution may be, it far, far outweighs Cooper's and is a refreshing antidote to Hitchens' pathetic pro-war pandering.

Marc Cooper

Bunkerbuster.. in short, save the bullshit, pal. You have no concept whatsoever of how many hours, weeks and months and years I have invested in working in peace moevements. So crapola, buddy, on somebody having to get their ticket validated by visiting a healing circle in Camp Casey.

It's hard to "smear" someone like Galloway who is already a human oil slick. Smear means to unfairly tar someone one with alleged actions and statements that really are not his responisbiluty. Would you like to list ONE smear of Galloway. Can you point us in your infinite wisdom to anything I or Danzinger or Hitchens has said about your little hero that is in fact not true? not 100% accurate? Anything? Something? A tid bit? No??? Then zip it.
You have pissed me off so much with your puslimaminous, feckless, morally bankrupt approach that I have half a noion to post right here: 1) my five year expuslsion certificate from university for my anti-war protetsts, along with my arrest and probation record, bail receipts and court transcripts as 18 friends and I still hold the all time record for the longest misdemeanor trial history in L.A. courts (Summer 1970)-- all over campus anti-war demonstrations. I wont becasue I DETEST that infantile game that goes nanana.. he might be a pig but he's done more than you. No Comrade Bunkerbuster,, not this time. Galloway is just plain a pig. And all he's done for the various movements was use them for personal enrichment. Reach both arms to ur lower back and see if you can rediscover your spine and stop stooping before a 24k fraud and huckster. It's not that hard to stand up straight.


MC writes: ``Can you point us in your infinite wisdom to anything I or Danzinger or Hitchens has said about your little hero that is in fact not true? not 100% accurate? Anything? Something? A tid bit?''

Gladly. In fact, I already did. MC claims Galloway supports suicide bombings, based on Galloway's statement in favor of the Iraqi resistence. I explained at length above why that doesn't wash. Supporting the resistance and apologizing for jihadists is not the same thing. That's much more than a tid bit.

But there's more, even the pathetically decontextual scrap-book Hitchens pamphlet MC links to above shows that Galloway has CONDEMNED suicide bombings. How sad that MC omits that from his claim Galloway supports terrorism?

MC even went as far as to edit out parts of the Galloway quote he cites above. Here's what MC cut out:

``who occupy it. We don't know who they are, we don't know their names, we never saw their faces, they don't put up photographs of their martyrs, we don't know the names of their leaders. They are the base of this society. They are the young men and young women who decided, whatever their feelings about the former regime, some are with, some are against. But they decided,...''

Given that MC has described this as an apology for jihadists, it's incredibly misleading for him to edit out this part. That is not only a smear, but an especially clumsy one...

As for my claim that MC hasn't arrived at the peace camp yet, I was not referring to Sheehan's Crawford campout. What I meant was that MC has spent his talents in this war arguing against the peace movement ever step of the way.

Marc Cooper

BB.. do u think I am stupid? Do you think I would "edit out" something when I provide a LINK to the read entire piece? Come on, man get with it. I excised the material for space and then provided the link so that geniuses like urself could read the whole think. Look I dont relly care what u think of Galloway. If u want to walk around telling urself that he supports the armed resistance in Iraq but not the car bombers (the difference being???) that is strictly your dream and dont let me interrupt. So go ahead and let the voices in ur heaed tell u whatever is comfortable. Out here in the real world it's dead obvious as to why he is a hoax. And next time you wonder why the anti war movemement here cant get any real traction, think about taking a look in the mirror. IN the meantime,unless you are a cousin of mine posting under a pen name, be kind enough to leave me out of any further comparisons with DOuchebag Galloway. Im a person of modest accomplishments for sure.. but he wished he had the history I do. No one has come after me to probe how much I have siphoned off from an Arab Childrens charity!

Abbas-Ali Abadani

Before Rockford jumps into this thread, with a thesis-length post-nuke Turner Diaries, "Day of the Rope" rant (along with his usual nonsense about David Duke, Cindy Sheehan and Galloway sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G) I thought I'd weigh in on one of the points raised in the back-and-forth here between bunkerbuster and Marc.

Namely that of "legitimate resistance" and "foreign fighters". As I stated here before, part of my extended family is Iraqi (two of my second cousins married Iraqis) and whenever horrific incidents like that which happened yesterday occur, they always say "the guy who drove his car/bomb into the wedding was Moroccan" or "the guy who blew himself up in the market was Sudani" or "the guy who blew himself up in the tents of the mourners was a Yemeni", etc. Everybody on the ground in Baghdad knows who the people who are committing these atrocities are and, without exception, *none* are Iraqi.

Those who insist otherwise are completely ignorant of Iraq and its people and especially of the historical relationship between its Shia and Sunni populations. I feel like a broken record, and I'm certain I've said these exact words, or very close to them, here before. But Iraqi Shi'ites and Sunnis are neighbors, friends, schoolmates, cousins, uncles and nephews of each other -- not blood enemies with a thousand-year grudge against each other, or whatever the self-serving myth currently in vogue in the centers of power.

This is why you don't see indiscriminate attacks by Shia militiamen agains the Sunni population, in response to any of these horrific terrorist attacks. The people who commit these acts are not Iraqi, but provoking a violent backlash against the Sunni population and igniting a sectarian civil war is exactly what they want.

But, Rockford's blood-drenched fantasies about a Sherman/Atlanta "solution" to the Sunni "problem" aside, that's not going to happen. No one's going to slit the throats of their grandchildren, uncles, students or whatever just because foreigners (both Arab *and* western) want them to.

The Iraqi resistance does not target ordinary Iraqis, primarily or solely, as the foreign/salafi elements apparently do. That is the difference between the two. Attacks on police, attacks on pipelines, attacks on infrastructure, attacks on government officials, attacks on American/British forces, attacks on peshmerga/"Iraqi army" -- these are 90% likely to be the work of Iraqi resistance.


On a slightly different note, is anyone noticing the sudden dearth of Iraq news on their local broadcasts? Is it not a tad racist (speaking of poor treatment of black Louisianans) to virtually ignore, as has occurred on the New York area television stations, the deaths of over 100 Iraqi civilians in yesterday's bombings while focusing on tales of flood survivors designed to jerk tears and to appeal to our endless need for inspirational soap opera?

After all, the United States of America is just as, in fact MORE responsible for the utter breakdown of social order and safety in Iraq than that occurring in New Orleans where at least the original incident was not Bush-made. In what way do we redeem ourselves we joining the weepy chorus with its inevitable happy ending while simply refusing to notice that unemployed Shiites are getting their limbs blown across the Euphrates every time they line up for the equivalent of their bottle of water? I feel that this is a deeper manifestation of racist indifference than the easily noted mistreatment of the hurricane survivors.


Long live the Iraqi resistance!


Whilst Galloway is plying his trade in glib, demagogic platitudes to eager audiences of bunkerbuster's, who're willing to overlook his salutations to Saddam, Syria and suicide bombers, because they happen to enjoy his line of cheap rhetoric, spare a small thought for the people of Bethnal Green & Bow.

Oona King, whom Galloway displaced as MP for that constituency, writes in the diary column of the New Statesman http://www.newstatesman.com/200509120002

"Even now, constituents still knock on the door and stop me in the street to ask if I'll help with their cases.

"But you've got to help me. You helped me for years."

"I'm not your MP any more. I lost the election."

"What election?"

God bless 'em all. And they can contact Mr Galloway via the House of Commons switchboard."

Or not; George Galloway doesn't care about democracy in Bethnal Green or Baghdad. If a ninny like Greg Palast is able to see Mr Galloway for the blackshirt he is, why do others remain so blinkered?


I don't have much use for Galloway either, but I wanted to point something out here:

This may be the first time anyone has bolstered their arguement by citing someone who is "too quick to pander to loonies".

I liked the Palast line about "some drunk" who acosted him, thanks for linking to that article.

Jim Russell

Abbas, Great to hear input from someone who actually knows Iraqis.

What does the Iraqi Resistance want for their people, if not freedom from dictatorship and a say, by vote or office holding via that vote, in the future?

Why do they not run for elected office rather than risk civil war on their people? Is it because they are mainly Baathist that have lost so much power and are afraid they cannot win elections with a Shite majority?

Just asking cause I really don't understand their goal. Thanks.


Doesn't Galloway have important business like, oh, being an MP for "respsect", to be attending to in the UK, instead of parading around the US?


"Galloway is telling the truth about the war"

If you listen to Galloway's message - if not in it's entirety, at least in some breadth (there isn't really much depth) - you'll find that his "truth about the war" contains a lot of bullshit about the insurgents simply being patriots fighting an occupation. He explicitly compared them to the American revolutionaries.

At this point, anyone in their right mind should see that the situation in Iraq is far more complicated than that, characterized more by civil war than "anti-imperialism". Jihadists aside, the Sunni insurgents are trying to hold on to some shreds of their own internal imperial/fascist stronghold on the country over past decades. I don't oppose the war because it overthrew those bums from their perch and I can't side with jihadists as "patriots" in Iraq anymore than I sided with them in Afghanistan when Reagan was arming them. But at least in Afghanistan they had most of the people on their side, however dubious a side it was. As we saw, as soon as the Soviets left, civil war between religious fanatics and (mostly) fascist warlords was on the menu. Not an exact parallel to Iraq, but closer than anything on the Hitchens/Wolfowitz Operation Iraqi Freedom menu. (I didn't actively support the Soviet occupation like some of the notables currently "leading" the anti-Iraq war movement from their perches in ANSWER and UPCJ, but I thought the government the Soviets were trying to prop up was probably a lesser evil than the Islamo-fascists who the U.S. was aiding massively, and history has borne me out on that one.)

It appears to me (and I don't have any of the personal communications Abbas has with Iraqis) that the Sunnis are reaping politically what they have sown over decades and I have little more sympathy for their wing of the insurgency than I do the jihadists, although I certainly comprehend it and see the solution to their piece of the puzzle as political as opposed to simply "better off dead" which is how I see the Jihadists. It would be a totally disingenuous to not acknowledge that the segments of the Iraqi political class that have any legitimate social aims - and I'd have to include the "non-Jihadist theocrats" as having in the Iraqi context some legitimate social and nationalist aims, at least by their lights, that distinguish them from the Zarqawi crazies - but primarily including all of those I can identify as on the secular left or pro-democracy - Iraqi Communists, Kurdish socialists, secular women's and trade union groups - see the very imperfect political process imposed by the U.S. - or imposed by Sistani on the U.S., depending on how "nuanced" you want to get - as holding more promise than either civil war or, god forbid, al Zarqawi's Jihad.

It's as reactionary to side with the Jihadist/Sunni insurgency as "liberators" as it is to propose long-term U.S. occupation and rape of the country by Halliburton, et. al. Presumably, if the hand had played differently, Sadr's army would be part of this mess as well. Woohoo...long live nuts with guns!!!! Death to Everyone Caught In The Crossfire!!!! Much as it may pain anti-war lefties to admit it, the political process happening now in Iraq - tortured as it may be - is the best hope the Iraqis have had to wrangle some decent future since before Saddam came to power. And it appears that at this point the insurgency is a greater enemy of real Iraqi politics (which granted aren't very pretty and will require no doubt more decades of internal struggle by the decent folk against both theocrats and shills for American and European interests) than are the "Coalition" occupiers. That said, it is also no doubt true that many political Iraqis of various stripes and ethnicity see the insurgency as a useful fact on the ground to keep the U.S. from holding to too many assumptions about it's own ability to dominate the situation. Very screwed up situation, with really nothing in it for "us" that makes any sense if you aren't one of the scumbag contractors walking off with bags of U.S. taxpayer's cash.

I oppose Iraq the war for about six different reasons that are more complex than Galloway's reductionist nostrums, reasons which Galloway barely mentions if at all, and which have more to do with my conception of an effective U.S. foreign policy and strategy against al Qaeda. Galloway's a fool and an opportunist of the worst stripe. Why the hell is it incumbent on an American who's anti-war to embrace every loudmouth who comes along to sell a book. If you want to hug wack jobs who oppose the war, try giving a wet one to Pat Buchanan. His anti-war arguments actually make more sense and are more grounded in the kind of mass opposition that has increased so dramatically over the last year or so. If Galloway actually made a good case against the war that didn't involve explicit praise for the scum who are forcing the country into a civil war, recruiting jihadist nut cases, attempting to foil any political solution and directing the bulk of their war of "liberation" against other Iraqis, his other views on Terri Schiavo and such wouldn't much bother me for the duration (which is why I consider Buchanan an ally of sorts in making a serious case against American misadventures). But I still wouldn't invite a guy with Galloway's history and explicit politics to be a featured speaker at a rally or travel cross-country with him. That's just a measure of the political stupidity of these people who organize the sideshow that calls itself "the anti-war movment". Their politics suck, as they've sucked for years, they are clueless at best, many of them have never seen a dictator who spouts left-sounding rhetoric they wouldn't apologize for, they'd be worse for the country than Bush - hard as that may be to believe - if their "leaders" got any real political power, and they've helped destroy the credibility of anything to the left of traditional liberalism - which is too bad because every country needs a serious left. The decent folk among the anti-war hardcore who welcome Galloway - those who ally for their parades with the stalinist scum like Cagan and Becker are often quite good at describing social problems but mostly delusional babblers when it comes to political solutions. (Pairing Galloway with Cindy Sheehan at this event on the 24th is handing a bit of a plum to the pro-war types, by the way.)

I agree that Marc may often spend more time than is warranted slamming crazies on the anti-war left - mostly because they aren't on most normal people's radar - but it's not like there's not plenty there to slam.

Dave K.

Well said, Reg. I do have an issue with your catch-all denunciation of the crazies on the anti-war left (they're naive and delusional, yes, but refreshing compared to the fractured, tepid response of the Democrats to pretty much anything), but that's because you're pretty much right about it. I don't agree with the crazies, but I sympathize with them because they actually have ideas on how to change things. They're wrong 9 times out of 10, but ideas aren't something that mainstream politics provide these days.

And well said, Marc. Although I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Greg Palast-he's a good hand on everything except Venezuela (Chavez is an asshole, like it or not). On most other issues he knows what he's talking about, and fact-checks more than most in his line of work.

richard lo cicero

Reg I've circled the date of the CSPAN showing of the "Great" Hitchens-Galloway "Debate" on my Calendar so I won't miss it. And moderated by Amy Goodman? OOOH! Look you don't get entertainment like this for free that often. Ad Hominems? I sure hope so. Why else would I watch?

As for Galloway he may be a horse's ass but he's funny and spot on when it comes to the war. Did he support Saddam? So did a lot of the bozos now comparing Hussain to Hitler. And what he did to Norm Coleman? That gets him him a lot a slack from me for puncturing the little shit who is there because Paul Wellstone got on a dangerous plane.

Greg Palast gets "praised" with faint damns. Why? Oh, that's right. He writes for dangerous loony left people. You know, the GUARDIAN and the BBC. Now if he were respectable he'd be with the NYT or NBC, maybe even FOX. After all, he is from the Valley!

Cindy Sheehan has done more to raise doubts about this war than anyone else. If she doesn't want to exclude anyone that is her business. I know several of your "coconspirators" from the great trials of 1969 and they included some people you wouldn't like to claim as comrades today. Hell, several, of them have changed their tune. So give it a break.

In the meantime I'll get my popcorn ready. Better than the WWF and unscripted!

Marc Davidson

"...the Sunni insurgents are trying to hold on to some shreds of their own internal imperial/fascist stronghold on the country over past decades." -- What do you know about the Iraqi insurgency that you're not telling us? Or are you just talking.

"I didn't actively support the Soviet occupation like some of the notables currently "leading" the anti-Iraq war movement from their perches in ANSWER and UPCJ, but I thought the government the Soviets were trying to prop up was probably a lesser evil than the Islamo-fascists who the U.S. was aiding massively, and history has borne me out on that one." -- This is an interesting melding in a single sentence of a blustery attack on some at UPJ with an equally blustery concession that they were right on this issue.

"Much as it may pain anti-war lefties to admit it, the political process happening now in Iraq - tortured as it may be - is the best hope the Iraqis have had to wrangle some decent future since before Saddam came to power." -- Do you really believe this? It may be all they have now, but it is far from clear that most Iraqis will see an improvement of their lives over what they experienced under Saddam.

I recommend a little more humility here.

Marc Danziger

Reg -

It's funny, but I've always thought the goal was to gain the support of the majority of the electorate, and thus win elections and thus get to implement policy.

Do you really think folks like Galloway or ANSWER do that in the UK or in the US?

And if they don't how is that attitude "patently reactionary"?...unless, of course the whole voting thing doesn't work for you.

Marc D

Michael Turner

"However tainted Galloway's contribution may be, it far, far outweighs Cooper's and is a refreshing antidote to Hitchens' pathetic pro-war pandering."

Perhaps in the same sense that drinking carbon tetrachloride is a "refreshing antidote" to an overdose of tainted methedrine. Whatever Galloway says that might be true (stopped clock, right twice a day) there are better, more coherent voices to rely on for the same truths, put in a context that easier to take seriously.

That said, I do have trouble with the blurring of certain distinctions in Marc's post. Let's assume that, as claimed by those boasting to be the perpetrators, this recent massive terror bombing in Iraq was a blow struck against Shi'a "apostates" in the name of the One True Islam (that would be Sunni, right? And maybe more specifically Salafist Sunni?). I have trouble seeing how a George Galloway who's so cozy with the Shi'a leadership of Syria would claim that such bombings are part of the Iraqi insurgency he feels should be supported.

On the other hand, the guy's not terribly rational, so who knows? He's got a Lawrence of Arabia complex, and contradictions like these are probably just annoying wrinkles to him.

As long as we're talking about this recent bomb attack, I have to say I'm troubled -- we still haven't heard from any Al Qaeda Central that the specifically anti-Shi'a emphasis of Zarqawi and his ilk aren't party line. I'm emboldened (if that's quite the word) in my hypothesis that Al Qaeda's current strategy might be to sow increasing discord between Sunna and Shi'a, in hopes of reopening the confessional civil war at the root of that split so long ago. For them, war is opportunity. Things are confusing and messy and violent now, but maybe this is just the beginning of confusing and messy and violent. Absent those (relatively) simplifying Cold War polarizations, we might have a Middle East chessboard developing that's got four or five different colors of pieces, with some of the players being real chameleons. I thought Lebanon in the 80s was hard to figure out. I don't know what to make of this new picture. It's so much bigger.

If there's one overwhelmingly decisive motivation you can use to simplify the picture, it's that the West must have its oil.

An interesting piece about the roots of suicide bombing in Islamic fanaticism:



"Pairing Galloway with Cindy Sheehan at this event on the 24th is handing a bit of a plum to the pro-war types, by the way.) "

You're presuming of course that Americans are warm to the Dean/Hillary message of more war more war in Iraq. At this point no matter how much the media try to smear Sheehan or Galloway or any others calling for immediate withdrawl from Iraq, they are conveying a message that differs from the two pro-war parties. The 'alternative' of more war in Iraq that the Dems are pushing isn't winning any more loyalty from Americans and nor should it.
Don't worry Reg, after another 1 or 2 thousand American deaths, you too will begin to see that immediate withdrawl from Iraq is a desirable and realistic option. By then there will be another 50 k or 100 k Iraqi deaths...but they don't figure into when Dems decide enough is enough...

Marc Cooper

I am amused by my friend Abbas' apparent clairvoyance. Much like the Amazing Carnac he can merely hold up the bloody events in Iraq to his forehead and by their mere outcome he can determine if the perpetrators are nasty foreign terrorists or bave homegrown revolutionaries. If the bloody massacres only mow down civilians, well then, tut-tut, those must be the foreigners doing that. If, on the other hand, the attack slices up a few dozen unemployed waiting in line to be soldiers, well then, that's obviously the work of the heroic resistance. How blind I have been! That's quite a talent, Abbas.

I would suggest, however, we are dealing here much more with a case of voluntaristic projection rather than extraordinary intuition.

No doubt there is a stratification among those who have taken up arms in Iraq. For sure there are foreign fighters who kill all in sight. And Im sure there are armed groups as well that have much more narrow targets and somehat more rational goals than the restoration of the Caliphate.

Problem is, that even the pure "resistance" that Abbas mostly imagines intends to do what, exactly? A clear majority of Iraqis, even under US occupation, have expressed in myriad ways a desire to construct a multi-ethnic political process in Baghdad. A mighty imperfect one fraught with all sorts of very ugly potential. But this resistance, these freedom fighters, what do they propose other than the bloody destruction of this same tenuous process? What is it in that process that supposedly blocks them from non violent political expression? After all, as Abbas suggests but wont say, we see Shiites, Kurds and even some Sunnis fully engaged and slugging it out politically. It might come to civil war but they are at least trying to avoid it through politics rather than car bombs. What sort of contribution to this, other than body bags, does the "resistance" as abbas imagines it, make?

The comments to this entry are closed.