Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Politics of War - Different Voices


Regardless of your position on the justification for the war in Iraq, we are there now. It has transformed itself into a root cause of celebration for "jihadists" and a terrible struggle for our troops and the ordinary citizens of Iraq. The transformation has also expanded the arguments for or against the continued effort. This article (Only choice on war is to win or lose it) has a direct take on what's at stake now (ignore for the time on what we were told was at stake at the start). It is an interesting reflection. Beyond that view is the opinion of James Fallows, a writer for the Atlantic. In his feature article (subscription required) Fallows takes a pragmatic view of what has happened and proposes a strategy to allow for a exit to the war. In essence he points out we have won the war - but only if we view it in original context.He argues that the essence of the change is this: because of al-Qaeda's own mistakes, and because of the things the United States and its allies have done right, al-Qaeda's ability to inflict direct damage in America or on Americans has been sharply reduced.

He reached this conclusion after interviewing sixty experts throughout the world. He summarizes their conclusions by arguing that the al Qaeda we knew in 2001 no longer exists. "Their command structure is gone, their Afghan sanctuary is gone, their ability to move around and hold meetings is gone, their financial and communications networks have been hard hit." I think he makes a compelling point.

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