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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

5/27/2004

Losing in Iraq

Something of the sort is already happening on the ground in Iraq. There are some 8,000 towns and villages in the country. How many do you hear about on the news? For a week, it's all Fallujah all the time. Then it's Najaf, and nada for anywhere else. Currently, 90 percent of Iraqi coverage is about one lousy building: Abu Ghraib. So what's going on in the other 7,997 dots on the map? In the Shia province of Dhi Qar, a couple hundred miles southeast of Baghdad, 16 of the biggest 20 cities plus many smaller towns will have elected councils by June. These were the first free elections in Dhi Qar's history and ''in almost every case, secular independents and representatives of nonreligious parties did better than the Islamists.'' That assessment is from the anti-war anti-Bush anti-Blair Euro-lefties at the Guardian, by the way.

That policy of ad hoc, incremental, rolling devolution needs to be accelerated. Towns and provinces should have as much sovereignty as they can handle, on the obvious principle that the constituent parts of ramshackle federations rarely progress at the same pace. In the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is now an advanced Western economy, Kosovo is a U.N. slum housing project. If one were to cast the situation in rough British terms, the Kurdish areas are broadly analogous to Scotland, Dhi Qar and other Shia provinces are Wales, and the Sunni Triangle is Northern Ireland.
mark steyn
There is a great post over at the Shotgun making much the same point.

The issue, however, is not success. After all, from the quagmirist perspective it is impossible for any level of success to justify the American action in Iraq or the Israeli supression of the Palestinian terror. The hunger for defeat is just too intense to admit of contradiction.

The essential point from the anti-Bush, anti-American position is that America always lies and that there can never be any good outcomes from American lead actions. Thus, the discovery and confirmation of sarin in a shell in Iraq cannot be held to imply there might just have been WMDs; no, now it has to be spun on the basis that it is impossible to prove that the shell came from Iraq. The overall calm in Iraq has to bew overshadowed by outbreaks of violence in a couple of centers. The reduction of terrorist incidents in Isreal simply "proves" that Sharon is a Nazi and the Palestinians have actually won.

Too much Chomsky I say.