The Iraq Trap
The Iraq Trap
Media outlets are filled with bad news about
Those who oppose President Bush may welcome the recent shift in the media climate. But when war-makers get frustrated, theyâ€™re inclined to heighten the violence. And some critics of the occupationâ€™s management are reinforcing assumptions that lead to more bloodshed.
The New York Times Magazine started off November with a long essay by David Rieff lamenting that â€œthe
Rieff mainly blamed â€œthe messâ€ on a half-dozen factors -- mostly tactical and bureaucratic -- such as â€œgetting in too deepâ€ with Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi, â€œshutting outâ€ the State Department, â€œignoring the Shiitesâ€ and â€œtoo little planning, too late.â€
But the razor blade in Rieffâ€™s polished apple came with the heading â€œThe Troops: Too Few, Too Constricted.â€
When the efficacy of the occupation becomes the issue, the door swings open for the kind of escalation being propounded by some members of Congress -- more troops. If 130,000 American soldiers wonâ€™t do the trick, how about 200,000 or a quarter-million or 300,000? If an iron fist wonâ€™t do, how about two?
Although they might seem to be simmering in the same pot, thereâ€™s a big difference between a critique that challenges the legitimacy of the occupation and a critique that condemns how the occupation is being run.
Faulting the president for a lack of military effectiveness in
Those who goad and taunt the Bush gang for failure to subdue Iraqi resistance often seem to be accepting the legitimacy of the occupation itself. Yet some key questions must be asked and re-asked.
How could a legitimate occupation come from an illegitimate war, which U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan described as a violation of the U.N. Charter? Shouldnâ€™t the
Unlike the â€œmajorâ€ Democratic presidential candidates receiving high-profile media coverage, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is asking such questions -- and providing forthright answers. For several weeks now, he has been promoting â€œa plan to bring our troops home and turn control of the transition over to the United Nations.â€
Kucinich points out that â€œsons and daughters of the
Those who respond that Kucinich has no chance of winning the 2004 presidential nomination are missing the point. Truths must be spoken. Political discourse must be widened. And much of the public is open to illumination of underlying issues.
The results of a nationwide survey -- conducted in the summer and fall by the
Released on Nov. 5, the Pew report notes: â€œThat 25-point gap is the largest in the 16 years the
The occupation of
Norman Solomon is co-author of â€œTarget