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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Reality TV in Iraq: How to Slit Throats

Regarding the terrorism in Iraq as its citizens attempt to create peaceful self-rule, Christopher Hitchens questions the axiom that it is better to release a hundred guilty parties in order to avoid injustice to one innocent party.

In "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind", he discusses the make-up of this "insurgency" of mostly foreigners who are televised in an Iriaqi reality TV show confessing to beheadings. He then writes:

The forces of al-Qaida and its surrogate organizations are not signatory to the conventions and naturally express contempt for them. They have no battle order or uniform and are represented by no authority with which terms can be negotiated. Nor can they claim, as actual guerrilla movements like the Algerian FLN have done in the past, to be the future representatives of their countries or peoples. In Afghanistan and Iraq, they sought to destroy the electoral process that alone can confer true legitimacy, and they are in many, if not most, cases not even citizens of the countries concerned. Their announced aim is the destruction of all nonbelievers, and their avowed method is indiscriminate and random murder. They are more like pirates, hijackers, or torturers—three categories of people who have in the past been declared outside the protection of any law.
The administration therefore deserves at least some sympathy in its confrontation with an enemy of a new type. I should very much like to know how a Gore administration would have dealt with the hundreds of foreign sadists taken in arms in Afghanistan. I should also like to know how other Western governments, which are privately relieved that the United States assumed responsibility for the last wave, expect to handle the next wave of fundamentalist violence in their own societies. No word on this as yet.


The question I have is, what would Gore and the Democrats (other than Joe Lieberman) have done had they been in charge? We see they have no options for the failing Social Security system. They were against tax cuts that has continued the US's economic success while other countries in the world have floundered since the recession (and filled state coffers with surpluses). What would they have done? Oh yeah, put more troops in Afghanistan. Would that have limited terrorism world-wide?

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