Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fouad Ajami's take on the Iraq War

While I don't always agree with Fouad Ajami, a professor at John's Hopkins, I always find his analysis to be very informative. He has a long article in today's
Wall Street Journal and the following is just a small part of it.

"We waged a war against Saddam in 1991 and then spared him. We established a presence in the Arabian Peninsula to monitor him, only to help radicalize a population with religious phobias about the "infidel" presence on Arabian soil.....

It is idle to debate whether Iraq is in a state of civil war. The semantics are tendentious, and in the end irrelevant. There is mayhem, to be sure, but Iraq has arrived at a rough balance of terror. The Sunni Arabs now know, as they had never before, that their tyranny is broken for good. And the most recent reports from Anbar province speak of a determination of the Sunni tribes to be done with the Arab jihadists....

We needn't give credence to the assertion of President Bush--that the jihadists would turn up in our cities if we pulled up stakes from Baghdad --to recognize that a terrible price would be paid were we to opt for a hasty and unseemly withdrawal from Iraq. This is a region with a keen eye for the weakness of strangers. The heated debate about the origins of our drive into Iraq would surely pale by comparison to the debate that would erupt--here and elsewhere--were we to give in to despair and cast the Iraqis adrift."

Mr. Ajami, a professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins, is the author, most recently, of "The Foreigner's Gift" (Free Press, 2006). He is a recipient of the 2006 Bradley Prize.

To read the rest of his article click on the title for a link.