Updated: 5/16/2006; 3:40:01 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses


daily link  Wednesday, December 07, 2005


It's Not Whether You 'Win' or 'Lose': "[Is] all of this vocabulary -- winning, losing, victory, defeat -- is simply misplaced? There are, after all, wars that are not actually won or lost... There are wars that end ambivalently -- wars, for example, such as the one we fought in Korea...

Iraq is not Korea, of course, and the Middle East is not Asia. But it is perfectly possible that the two conflicts might eventually resemble one another in the ambivalence of their conclusions. Although both the administration and its antiwar opponents speak as if there must be an either/or solution for Iraq -- either democracy or Islamic fascism -- it is perfectly possible that we end up with both. We may indeed create the first truly democratic Arab regime, with independent media, real elections and a relatively liberal political culture. But we may also, simultaneously, strengthen al Qaeda and its radical Islamic allies, in Iraq and the entire region. We may create a more entrepreneurial, globally integrated Iraq that can inspire economic reform throughout the Middle East. We may also create a deep well of international anti-American resentment that hampers our ability to conduct everything from trade negotiations to counterintelligence for decades to come.

It is even possible, in the end, that we really will help bring into existence a new generation of democratic Arab reformers across the Middle East -- and that we will need to keep troops in the region for five decades to defend them. Would such an outcome mean the war was a "defeat"? Not necessarily. Would it mean the war was a "victory"? Not exactly. Can we, the nation that invented the Hollywood happy ending, live with such a conclusion? Hard to imagine, but we might not have a choice. "

  9:24:50 AM  permalink  

Al-Qaida Deputy Urges Oil-Plant Attacks: "Al-Qaida's deputy leader called for attacks against Gulf oil facilities and urged insurgent groups in Iraq to unite to drive out American forces.. The posting was a full version of a video by al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri that was issued on Sept. 19, excerpts of which were broadcast by the Arab television network Al-Jazeera at the time. .. "I call on the holy warriors to concentrate their campaigns on the stolen oil of the Muslims, most of the revenues of which go to the enemies of Islam," al-Zawahri, the Egyptian deputy of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, said in a portion of the tape not previously broadcast."  9:18:35 AM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 3:40:01 PM.