Thursday, December 01, 2005

From the article:

Even on Wednesday, Bush was at his least persuasive when he tried to justify the war. "If we were not fighting and destroying this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle," he said. "They would be plotting and killing Americans across the world and within our own borders." This is an unknowable assertion of course, and not very convincing in any case. The invasion of Iraq has caused thousands of Muslims who otherwise might merely have disliked the United States to take up arms against us. That's not an apology for the insurgency or its disgusting tactics. It's just true.

But isn't the rebuttal 'caused thousands of Muslims ... take up arms against us' also an unknowable assertion?
Judging the intentions and motivations of our enemies is extremely difficult. We have to step into their shoes and realize that many in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere are fed a constant stream of propaganda. As such, those "joining the jihad in Iraq" could be joining for all kinds of reasons, even complete misunderstandings of our intentions in Iraq (there are at least a few confirmed cases where captured foreign terrorists actually did not know that the US did not want to continue its presence in Iraq).

Over all, the quoted article is pretty decent. I'm just trying to make sure people's assumptions are clearly defined.


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