Wednesday, July 28, 2004


More potential problems in Iraq: IWPR reports that we may start to see more signs of insurrection in Ramadi, the residents of which are drawing inspiration from what happened in Falluja. One problem our occupation in Iraq had is that we quite literally lost some high-profile confrontations, both in Falluja and in our attempts to arrest Muqtada Sadr. Unlike some, however, I don't see that we had much alternative. Juan Cole has often commented on how tribal ties affect the size of the insurrection in these cities - attacking them often just means we make enemies of everyone's cousin. If I might make a slightly unnatural connection, Amanda Butler has a story which shows these sorts of kinship ties in action, albeit in a completely different situation. (Scroll to the last episode.)

President Bush and his administration have turned to force where skill was called for, and refused to address issues of legitimacy that underlie a lot of this whole mess. Of course, the most anti-Western types - such as Zarqawi and Co. - will fight us no matter what, and there we have nothing to do but respond in kind. However, there's also a lot of resistance that wouldn't be there if, say, we had gone in under international auspices and allowed for more real democracy, at least at the local level.


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