Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Dave said...
Yeah, but compared to the economic and political instability in the region that would be a result of a civil war, the impact on Palestinian stability of siphoning-off of extreme radicals to go and deal with the infidels in Iraq is likely to be minimal.

Besides, in situations like this it makes more sense to be pessimistic and wrong than optimistic and wrong.


It's not the pessimism I have a problem with here - I myself am arguing that there is little hope for resolving palestine short of a Tsunami. Nor do I have a problem with the left wing anti-Bush anti-Iraq sarcasm in small quantities - it's funny. There is a sense of glass-half-empty here that if there was left leaning governments that erred on the side of caution you would be having glass-half-full arguments with perhaps equally distressing situations in the middle east. The situation where Saddam Hussein and his militias were financing suicide bombings in Israel - as compared to a civil war in Iraq which will rely heavily itself on suicide bombings, financed and staffed by the remaining militia and criminal networks in Iraq is what should be considered here. No one's suggesting that the civil war will be of the type say in Yugoslavia where organised conventional military units were in play on all sides. Nor is the overall civilian situation anywhere near as disastrous as say Chechnya, which is likely to spread instability rather than contain it. Even a strife torn, only nominally democratic Iraq is better for Palestine than than the non-interventionist alternative in this case.

3 comments:

Dave said...

I've yet to see any evidence more compelling than "it sounds like it ought to be true" to support the assertion that Hussein/the B'athist were funding Palestinian suicide bombers. I'm not saying it's not true, but without something resembling independent verification, it really has the whiff of Pentagon exaggeration engineered to bluff up international support for its military escapades. If you know of any decent reporting on the subject, point it out and I'll take a look.

I think the Iraqis of all political bents are capable of organising themselves into conventional (para-)military units. I think that civilians will be targeted (at least by the extremists and, if I am to be perfectly if grumpily honest, probably by the weakly supported, not-especially-popularly-elected democratic government as well). I think that attempts will be made to bring neighbouring countries into the fray (Iran and - maybe/not sure - Syria on the one side, and the US/Israel/etc in on the other side).

From where I sit, I can't see how it will end up being anything but a miserable, bloody debacle that will spill over into other countries in the region. There may not be African/Eastern European-style genocide attempts, but I still wouldn't want to be an average everything Iraqi moderate hoping to mind their own business and be left alone for the next ten years.

Dr. Clam said...

I think we have a situation where the Net is leading to the atomisation of political discourse-we now neither read nor believe the same media sources, thus reversing the decades-long Murdochisation trend where everyone gets their news from the same source. To me "Saddam funded Palestinian suicide bombers" is a statement of the same order of reality as "Mark Latham was leader of the ALP". I will try to find some examples of this from the independent Arab media...

Dave said...

As I say, it's not that I don't believe it's possible - or actually likely - I've just never seen it presented as anything more than specious assertion in the context of justifying the war on Iraq. And you know, it's not as if there wasn't plenty of 'Saddam was an evil psycho bastard' evidence to go around.

So yeah, that would be appreciated.

PS: Mark Latham was arguably *anything but* the leader of the Labor Party. Another example perhaps?