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Blog of Mass Destruction

This Question Still Needs An Answer

By The Reverend Published: September 18, 2007

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The Anonymous Liberal asked a question yesterday that I've been asking for over a year now.....

Here's an open-ended question I'd love to see some polling outfit ask: who are we fighting in Iraq?

I suspect that many people would say "al Qaeda" or "the terrorists" (maybe even "the Islamofascists"). Others would probably says "Iraqi insurgents" or something similar. And, sadly, I suspect a not insignificant percentage would just say we're fighting "Muslims" or "Arabs" generally. But I think the number one answer would be "Don't Know." Link

I actually think A.L.'s question begs a broader question. Are we at war in Iraq? If we are at war in Iraq, who are we at war with?

Everyone keeps using the phrase, "the war in Iraq", and just like everyone got used to saying "stand up-stand down" and "the surge" without those slogans having any clear meaning, so too, "the war in Iraq".

To have a war, it seems to me, you have to have an enemy with whom you are fighting. There may have been an enemy originally. That enemy may have been Saddam and his regime, even though these enemies never posed a threat to the U.S.

Saddam and his regime have been gone from the picture for quite some time, so who are we at war with now in Iraq?

My take, and you just knew it had to be contrarian, is that we aren't at war with anyone inside Iraq. Our military is simply acting as a national police force for the devastated country. A devastated country with many militias, tribesmen, criminals and thugs, and Muslim extremists trying to control the action.

But wouldn't fighting any or all of these folks be more aptly defined as a police action?

The catch is this, I think. If Americans are told that our military is acting as Iraq's national police force, they'll even be more upset at the White House than they already are. In addition, I'm not so sure the Iraq Resolution allows for an open ended national police role for our military.

Of course, none of this really matters. American forces will never completely leave Iraq. The entire Project for the New American Century, whose middle eastern policy is made up of pre-emptive wars and permanent U.S. military bases there, whose plan Bush and Cheney are carrying out for the neo-conservatives who make up PNAC, will never allow our forces to be brought back home. That would kind of.....I don't know.....defeat the whole purpose for making up all those lies, cherry picking all that intelligence and then illegally invading the sovereign nation of Iraq in the first place.....I mean, wouldn't it??

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