While kidnappings and head-choppings in the Sunni Triangle dominate the news from Iraq, the real battle for that nation's future is fought in diplomatic, political and media arenas outside that country.
The terrorist movement in Iraq, at times graced with the label of "insurgency," is in no position to impose its will on the nation. With the help of its outside backers, it could, to be sure, continue kidnappings and killings for years.
More than a dozen countries (Colombia, Peru, Malaysia, the Philippines, Algeria, Egypt, etc.) have experienced similar terrorist movements in recent decades. In every case, the terrorists, having pushed the limits of brutality as far as they could, were ultimately defeated.…
The ultimate reason for terrorist movements' failure is the same that constitutes their raison d'etre: Individuals and groups choose terrorism because they know they cannot mobilize popular support.
The terrorist hopes to force history in his direction with the help of bombs and guns. He tries to substitute his will for the will of the people. While claiming to fight in the name of the people he is, in fact, excluding the people from the political process if only because "ordinary citizens" are not prepared to die, let alone kill, for abstract ideas.
So the "insurgency" in Iraq is going nowhere fast. It will be as roundly defeated as were its predecessors in so many other countries. The danger for Iraq's future lies elsewhere.
It comes, in part, from Americans who want Iraq to fail because they want President Bush to fail. Some 81 books paint the president as the devil incarnate; Bush-bashing is also the theme of three "documentaries" plus half a dozen Hollywood feature films. Never before in any mature democracy has a political leader aroused so much hatred from his domestic opponents.
Others want Iraq to fail because they want America to fail, with or without Bush. The bitter tone of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan when he declared the liberation of Iraq "illegal" shows that it is not the future of Iraq but the vilification of the United States that interests him.
Add to this the recent bizarre phrase from French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. The head of the Figaro press group went to see him about the kidnapping of two French journalists in Iraq; Raffarin assured him they would soon be freed, reportedly saying, "The Iraqi insurgents are our best allies."
In plain language, this means that, in the struggle in Iraq, Raffarin does not see France on the side of its NATO allies — the U.S., Britain, Italy and Denmark among others — but on the side of the "insurgents."
Those who want Iraq to fail because they hate Bush and/or America as a whole (for reasons that have nothing to do with Iraq) know that "the insurgents" can't get anywhere. Nor would the Bush- or America-bashers really want Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi to become ruler of Iraq.
If Jimmy Carter had been U.S. president or if Iraq had been liberated by the European Union, we would have none of the hot air that is blown about the war throughout the world. But someone like Carter or an entity like the European Union could never say boo to a goose, let alone destroy a vicious tyranny.
Those who want Iraq to fail so that Bush and/or America will also fail are now focusing their energies towards a single goal: postponing elections in Iraq for as long as possible. To achieve that goal, they will stop at nothing. …
(Thanks to Gregory Schreiber)