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For those who feel the war on terrorism
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Friday, August 08, 2003

Just a quickie from Newsday, from further down in an article I ran into via Atrios:

'[Harold] Rhode recently acted as a liaison between Feith's office, which drafted much of the administration's post-Iraq planning, and Ahmed Chalabi, a former Iraqi exile disdained by the CIA and State Department but groomed for leadership by the Pentagon.'

This paragraph neatly summarizes the dynamic that pushed the U.S. towards war with Iraq. The hawks in the Pentagon justified the whole thing based on the testimony of defectors from Iraq, represented by Ahmed Chalabi. from elsewhere in the article we find the motivation for recent back-door efforts by this same group of folks to meet with officials from Iran:

'This second official said, "United States policy officially is not regime change, overtly or covertly," but to engage Iranian officials in dialogue over contentious issues, such as Iran's nuclear weapons program, and to press the regime to extradite al-Qaida operatives.'

'He said that the immediate objective of the Pentagon hardliners appears to be to "antagonize Iran so that they get frustrated and then by their reactions harden U.S. policy against them."'

This comes, as always, from an unnamed Administration source. However, this source isn't afraid to drop names and other details in the article point to solid sourcing, although we're still a bit wary because "unnamed" administration sources have provided dirt for all sorts of questionable articles (see stuff by Judith Miller in the NYT). If this is true, then we're back in the Cold War Age, with hawks plotting for ways to force a confrontation because they believe that's the only way to solve the problem. The "flypaper" theory of Iraq is based in this school of thought, as are a number of analyses we've heard recently to justify the invasion of Iraq and the continued U.S. presence there. I believe that the last 50 years of experience show that there are non-violent ways to deal with extremists and that we don't have to resort to this sort of cowboy tactic to defeat terrorism. As the world gets better at dealing with extremisim, the number of conflicts resolved with violence will decline. This is a trend that should be encouraged, which is why I support the U.N. (even if it doesn't always succeed) and other efforts at negotiated settlements. That is, after all, the future of conflict resolution.

Andrew 2:41 PM : |


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