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Saturday, November 24, 2007


 

"Success" in Iraq?


I wrote the other day about the statistics showing attacks are down in Iraq and the concomitant trumpeting of "success" in Iraq. The graph at right, taken from Iraq Body Count (cue hisses and boos) provides a historic perspective on that - attacks almost certainly are down from their high point in 2006, but are still comparable to the three-year period from 2003-2005.

However...it is important not to draw the wrong conclusion. Sufficient imprisonment of enemies, application of brute force, building of walls, checkpoints, and so on, can certainly reduce or even eliminate the ability of the oppressed to act in response - just ask the Palestinians if you don't believe this. This doesn't mean the oppressed, or the occupied, will ever stop resisting their occupation, or become resigned to it, but it certainly is possible, as I said, to reduce their ability to respond in a concrete fashion to a minimal level.

But...and here's the point of this post...even if all violence were to stop in Iraq tomorrow, it is absolutely impossible to ever achieve "success" in Iraq. One million people (or, if you don't like that number, take the number 80,000 - it really makes no difference to the argument) are dead thanks to the invasion, millions more have suffered the pain and humiliation of exile. The lives of those dead people, and the life stolen from the living, can never be retrieved.

Depending on what happens in the future in Iraq, Iraq may be a gigantic tragedy or only an immense one. But it can never be a "success." Never.


Why stop here? There's more...

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