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January 24, 2005


Now, if only we can get Iraqi police/National Guard who stand and fight rather than run, we'll be in business...

That's funny that you say that (re: CIA plant). I thought the same thing when I read it. In fact, because (a) it seems soooo ham-fisted, and (b) my trust in this Administration is exactly zero (though I also don't have a problem with this if it is CIA), I'm going to assume it is a plant absent new evidence.

I had read somehwere else that "democracy" (English, untranslated) is now synonymous in Iraq with armed coalition troops. As in, stay away from that street, "democracy" is doing a house sweep. I will try to find the cite.

Well, duh. What in the world did anyone possibly imagine was Zarqawi's attitude toward democracy and the kind of future he wants for Iraq? Liberal democracy is his nightmare, an autocratic Islamic theocracy his dream. And his vision does not end with Iraq, by any means. These are not called fanatics for no reason, folks. He and his ilk have to be exterminated as thoroughly and rapidly as possible.

Oh, it was a comment on Making Light, so I suppose it just counts as hearsay.

Are you sure Zarqawi knows/expects the average Iraqi to know what "democracy" is? I seem to remember reading somewhere (yeah, I know, real reliable source here;-) that women in Iraq scare their disobedient children by saying something like "if you don't behave the democracy will come get you". It may be that Zarqawi thinks or expects people to believe that he thinks, that he is declaring war on an evil principle that stands for the monster under the bed. Think about a 1950s US-American politician declaring war on Communism.

Diane: According to your hypothesis, Zarqawi is taking advantage of the ignorance of his audience to cast a good thing (democracy) as something evil, making people fear something they should embrace. At least your 1950s American politician was declaring war on a genuinely monstrous evil, something no one should have embraced.

What mothers use to scare their children aside, the average Iraqi deserves more credit than you are giving him. The basic idea of democracy is well understood over there, and in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, too. If that were not so, then the leaders of these countries, as well as the Iraqi Baathists, would have little to worry about. But they are plenty worried.

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