|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|This Pup Won't Hunt
Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? email@example.com|
|Now that all the other justifications for the U.S. invasion of Iraq have been exploded by the facts, Mr. Bush has settled on a single casus belli: “If we were to leave Iraq before the job is done, the enemy would follow us home.”*
Richard Clarke, former counter-terrorism advisor to the National Security Council, calls this the puppy dog theory of terrorism. In a New York Daily News article in April, Clarke expresses doubt that terrorists really will behave like lost dogs if we leave Iraq. He questions the validity of the entire “we fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here” school of Iraq justifications, noting the unlikelihood of terrorists abiding by a perversely chivalrous “one slaughter ground at a time” code.** Clarke’s point: terrorists will strike anyway, regardless of what we’re doing in Iraq or anywhere else. The train bombings in Madrid and the Underground bombings in London, both of which occurred after the Iraq invasion, would seem to be incontrovertible proof.
There are other reasons to question Mr. Bush’s lost puppy theory. The UN estimates that two million Iraqis have already left their country as refugees, fleeing the multi-sided conflict which is killing hundreds of civilians each week. Most are in neighboring Syria and Jordan. Others cross into Iran and Saudi Arabia. Very few land in the U.S. for the very good reason that we don’t let them in. Despite precipitating the Iraq civil war, the U.S. admitted a grand total of 466 Iraqis between the invasion of ’03 and the beginning of ‘07. We can be certain each one is being closely watched, so even if a couple of would-be terrorists really are in the mix, their freedom of action is limited. As for the additional 1.7 million estimated Iraqi refugees, they are too poor, old, or otherwise afflicted to leave the country.
Furthermore there’s every indication that the Iraqis don’t want to follow us home in the first place. In a World Public Opinion Poll*** taken last September, 71% of Iraqis said they wanted the U.S. out of their country. 78% of Iraqis think the U.S. presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it quells. 61% of Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S. forces. The New York Times on Sunday recounted the tale of a disillusioned U.S. sergeant who discovered that the very Iraqi army forces he’s been training have been setting roadside bombs to blow up his men. All of which suggests that the Iraqis don’t like us very much anymore, at least those who don’t hate us. And if the majority of Iraqis want to be rid of the Americans among them, they’re hardly likely to want to follow those Americans when they leave.
There’s a final big problem with the lost puppy theory of Muslim terrorists. Most Muslims consider dogs to be unclean. They are very unlikely to imitate the behavior of animals they despise.
We all know how often Mr. Bush has been proven correct, but in the case of the “they’ll follow us home” defense of the Iraq invasion, he is certainly in error. The Iraqis don’t like us, don’t want us to stay, and either can’t or don’t want to follow us in the event of our leaving. Which removes the last remaining justification for our continued presence. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once mused that we might be creating more terrorists than we’re killing in Iraq. If Mr. Bush had as much faith in logic as he hasin faith, we’d leave tomorrow and put Rumsfeld’s musings to the test.
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A NOTE TO READERS
There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and April 26th, nearly eight weeks. The reason: tech sabotage. Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire period. At one point, they even managed to lose all the files. In many discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming. No one seemed able to fix the problem. Ruling out the possibility of Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone since the beginning of March. A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer named Jason called. He had my letter before him. Though he couldn’t do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day. That was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first place.
The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo Geocities.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2007
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