Blogs > Liberty and Power > Ignorance, or War Propaganda? You Decide.

Jul 6, 2004 1:34 pm

Ignorance, or War Propaganda? You Decide.

I see that the learned Senator Joseph Lieberman said the following, while talking about the battle against the insurgents in Iraq:

SEN. LIEBERMAN: These are the very same people who attacked us on September 11.
Really? I had absolutely no idea. I thought the people who attacked us on September 11 were Al Qaeda terrorists, and that 15 of them were Saudi Arabian -- and that a lot of the Iraqi insurgents are civilians.

Well, goodness gracious. If these are the very same people who attacked us on 9/11, then it's a very, very good thing that we've killed a whole bunch of them. According to that site, which collects data from media sources (so the actual count is probably higher if anything), the number of civilian Iraqis killed so far as the result of our invasion and occupation is between 11,000 and 13,000. Good thing all those Al Qaeda terrorists are dead!

Of course, if they're not"the very same people" who attacked us on 9/11, then I guess it might be a Bad Thing that they're dead.

But I'm sure Senator Lieberman knows what he's talking about. And if he's wrong, well, you can't Defend Civilization Against the Greatest Threat Ever Known to Man without killing a few million people. And we're still just in the low thousands, so what's the big deal? Of course, if they're not the very same people, I guess a few Arabs might be a little pissed off at us. But still, we're Saving Civilization!

Honestly, some of you people just have to lighten up.

UPDATE: Some enlightenment for Senator Lieberman, courtesy of Juan Cole:

US observers keep expressing puzzlement as to why the killing of hundreds or thousands of insurgents has not had an impact in repressing the guerrillas. They don't seem to get it that Iraqi clans still matter and that when they kill an Iraqi, they anger the man's brothers, uncles, and first and second cousins, some of whom step forward to take his place. In the US a lot of people don't even know their cousins and certainly would not sacrifice their lives to avenge one. Iraq is not like that. So, it isn't really even a matter of ideologies, necessarily. The US military has incurred enough clan feuds to keep the insurgencies going. And, of course, Iraqi and Arab nationalisms are powerful enough that people hate seeing Western troops in their country. The line between being angry about it and being angry enough to pick up a gun is a thin one.

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