Monday, March 12, 2007


Enemy Mine?

I was listening to the radio yesterday, and they quoted a Marine vet who characterized antiwar protesters as "giving psychological comfort to the enemy". Now this meme is widespread, and the idea behind it is dubious at best. But the most absurd part of the argument is the idea that Iraqis are our "enemies". The recent National Intelligence Estimate (PDF) on Iraq concluded that US troops find themselves in the middle of an "inter-sectarian struggle between Shia and Sunnis" in which Al-Qaeda type jihadists only act as "accelerators" of an already self-sustaining civil war.

So who is our enemy here? The best answer, as far as I can tell, is ourselves, because the US invasion of Iraq and its disastrously mismanaged aftermath created the conditions that allowed extremism to flourish in Iraq, where it had previously been non-existent. So we're giving psychological comfort to ourselves?

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