January 17, 2005


This is not Apocalypse Now in Iraq, but it might be the genesis of hope (Michael Gove, 1/18/05, Times of London)

SCIENTISTS HAVE a phrase for the point at which the known universe ends, and a black hole begins. They call it the event horizon. In recent months it has become clear that a similar phenomenon is at work in media coverage of foreign affairs.

There is a particular point at which knowledge appears to end and a huge black hole begins. It seems to occur somewhere in the 1960s. The specific event beyond which most commentators now find it difficult to see is the Vietnam War. [...]

There are key differences between the North Vietnamese and Vietcong assault on South Vietnam and the insurgency being mounted in Iraq. Differences which suggest we face a radically different outcome. In Vietnam the Communist forces were ideologically united, enjoyed broad popular support and were battling against a corrupt status quo with the promise of a radically different, and more hopeful, future.

In Iraq, by contrast, the insurgents are united only in their hatred of the West and dislike of democracy. The most implacable are remnants from Saddam Hussein’s most loyal cadres. They have been joined, in this fight, by other Sunnis who fear that the privileges their minority group once enjoyed will be lost in a future democratic Iraq. And their struggle has been augmented, for tactical reasons, by outside jihadis, from Syria, Jordan and across the Arab world, drawn by the heat of the crucible.

They lack any sort of political unity and offer no coherent programme of hope for Iraq’s people. While they might hanker for the restoration of Sunni minority rule, such a reactionary step could, by definition, never secure majority popular support.

Though it would be almost fun to watch Mookie go after the Ba'athists.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 17, 2005 6:55 PM

It is just amazing that these elementary facts of the situation have eluded all of the Liberal Dems, the Bloated and Rotting Corpse of the Senior Senator from MA, and the MSM.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 17, 2005 11:21 PM