Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Steven Den Beste is ramming his head into trees, thinking they're forests. When confronted with the German Chancellor's (entirely understandable) argument that invading Iraq will "destroy support for the U.S.-led war on terror", he replies:

I must have missed seeing all that 'support'. (Perhaps it rolled under the sofa.) All I've been seeing is bitching and moaning and predictions of disaster and calls for restraint (by the US). Everyone seems to want a war on terror, but no-one wants any battles to be fought in it. We're evidently going to win it by sitting on our fat asses and being morally superior. This will so impress our enemies that they will cease to attack us out of respect.

For those who missed the analogy: the forest is terrorism, and the tree is Iraq. There are many countries around the world that support the United States in dealing with terrorism, but ask (rightly enough) whether invading Iraq has anything to do with that. Since most of the world isn't trying to justify an invasion of Iraq and are instead asking the question of whether it's necessary at all, the increasingly lame and laboured arguments trying to tie the two together aren't exactly making headway, and your typical European leader isn't exactly the biggest boosters of military unilateralism.

Beside that, however, is understandable unease over this "war on islamism" stuff, no doubt due to the simple fact that many countries (including no few in Europe) have significant Islamic minorities, and the razor-thin distinction between a war on Islamism and a war on Islam isn't being lost on those whose voters and (in some cases) families are under fire here. There's no reason why any country should support the United States in expanding the war in a fashion it finds odious, even if it supports the original war on terrorism (and most governments and peoples do.)

But, of course, this doesn't matter to simplistic hawks like Stephen. Either you're with us, or against us- and if you're with us, you better support every hare-brained scheme and notion that we come up with, or all of a sudden you're under the sofa. I think Stephen might want to put Clausewicz down and read some real political theory works, because he's arguing really, really bad politics.

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