Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Several commentators (including David Adesnik and Ralph Peters) are convinced that the attacks on civilian targets in Iraq indicate that guerillas/militants/terrorists/whatever in Iraq are getting "desperate". My reaction upon reading Adesnik's post on the subject was "nice theory; any particular reason I should believe it?"

Matthew Yglesias appears to agree:

Now I'm not going to say that Ralph or David are wrong about this -- they could be right. Maybe all the various attacks we've seen in Iraq were organized by a single, loosely-affiliated group of people. Maybe these people really are deeply unpopular Ba'ath Party remnants. Maybe they've started targeting infrastructure because they're on their last legs and no longer capable of targeting US soldiers. Honestly, though, I just don't see how anyone could know these things.
Exactly. It's a theory entirely unsupported by any evidence whatsoever, and what reasons Adesnik does bring to bear beg the question rather severely. It's like saying that the Iraqis would welcome the Americans with flowers and kisses, in that it's a theory that sounds good and makes America look good (always a growth industry), but dangerous to base analysis or policy on.

After all, according to the hawks, wasn't the U.S. supposed to be out of there by now?

(I'm not even going to get into Adesnik's attempt to berate the media for not agreeing with said theory. Why should they?)

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