Thursday, August 10, 2006


This is a pretty good post for bringing up a clear misunderstanding on defenders of the Iraqi war. As Max mentions in refering to an LA Times article that suggests that the Sunnis want someone like Muqtada Sadr taking over:

"Taliban"? Anyone with a newspaper subscription knows the Sunni insurgents are dominated by Ba'ath/Saddamist secularists. It reminds me of the buffoon Walter Russell Mead telling me in a radio debate that if the U.S. left, Osama Bin Ladin would take over Iraq."

Too often I hear the backwards arguments of people that like to revise history. People that claim that Al Queda wanted to control Iraq and that Hussein was secretly working with the terrorists. The al Queda presence in Iraq prior to the Iraq war was minimal at best. The administration had the ability to remove this threat without affecting Hussein or Iraq, and the administration told the military to stay back that they "needed a terrorist element to help promote the war". I wrote about this when it happened, and a point that people fail to understand really is a religious one. People like Saddam Hussein are secularists. Meaning that they do not want religion to be the main dictator of policy. Groups like Al Queda and the Taliban and even Hezbollah are religious fundamentalists. They believe that religion should be the overseer of political discourse. These are two completely different approaches, and they do not agree with one another. Just as Saddam disliked Bid Laden greatly, Sunni Iraqis are largely made up of secularists that want to remove the religious elements not support them. So to assume that the current insurgency in Iraq would want to create a "Taliban" style government is not only stupid, it's borderline dogmatic. It assumes the "us vs. them" theory that places all Muslims as Arabs and religious fanatics, when in fact many Arabs roundly reject the fundamentalist viewpoint and I highly doubt a fundamentalist regime would accept a secular government.

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