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The Arab Mind and Culture

Reader comment on item: Salvaging the Iraq War

Submitted by James Fittz (United States), Jul 28, 2007 at 14:04

I could not help contrasting the substance of Mr. Pipes' column with the Bill Moyers Journal broadcast of last evening. I hope I am not violating any copyright laws by excerpting a small part of that discussion.

"While Fawaz A. Gerges, a Carnegie scholar who is undertaking a 15-month field study in the Middle East tracing the journey of what he calls "the Iraq generation" of activists and jihadis, contends that the U.S. presence in Iraq is actually bolstering the central al Qaeda network: The administration's argument that we have to stay in Iraq in order to win the war against al Qaeda does not make sense. In fact, the opposite is true. The longer we stay in Iraq, the more we help al Qaeda spread its ideology and tactics."

If Mr. Gerges, an Arab-American and a Muslim is right, then Mr. Pipes is suffering from the same lack of cultural awareness, indeed studied obscurantism, that prompted the ideologues in the White House and their brother new-cons to pursue war in Iraq without realistic appraisal of consequences.

The fact is, the Arabs, not just the Iraqi Arabs, but all of the Arabs will not ALLOW us to maintain a presence in Iraq. According to MR. Gerges, if somehow all of the al-Qaida linked insurgents or guerillas could be extracted from Iraq, it would not affect the challenges the US military faces there. Instead of having the Sunnis fighting al-Qaida in the few places where they are, they would again turn on the US soldiers. Even now, the Sunni fighters fight al-Qaida in the daytime with the help of the US troops, then at night they lay bobbie traps against the US troops. When are we going to wake up to the reality that there is no way that this conflict can be "won" militaristically. The US administration and military have provided every possible justification to the jihadists to pursue their holy mission.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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