Sunday, July 17, 2005

Chris Dickey Knew And Told Us

...Much is made of guerrilla ideologies—communist, or Islamist, or
Baathist. But the driving force in most guerrilla movements is simply dignity. Throughout history, long before any “-isms” were known, men fought against conquerors and occupiers because they found the presence of the foreigners humiliating. They used any means at their disposal to strike back, and as often as not they were denounced by the occupiers as bandits, savages and, yes, terrorists for doing so.

...But democracy doesn’t beat an insurgency, which is what we’re looking at right now. I’ve been covering guerrilla wars for almost 25 years, and in every case I’ve been convinced that the only way to defeat committed insurgents fighting on their home ground, in the short and medium term, is with ferocious, unrelenting repression. Afterward, compromise with the insurgents can help finish the job for good, and the democratic process can be part of that. But first: force.

The journey from despotism to democracy in the Middle East is going to take us down a bloody, thankless road and, the truth is, it’s a trip that could put America’s own democracy in danger.—Christopher Dickey, Lessons of History, Newsweek, December 10, 2003

Today suicide bombings in Iraq are wreaking incredible disaster, even compared to the daily toll we at home are getting used to.

New suicide bombings killed at least 22 people in the Baghdad area on Sunday, while relatives struggled to identify charred bodies from a fiery suicide attack near a Shiite mosque in Musayyib that killed more than 90 people.—Associated Press

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz—all had access to the same expertise as represented by reporter Christopher Dickey. Chris has been involved in the middle east mentality and aspiration for 2 decades. He has examined terrorists and their back grounds and motives on a microscopic level. When he reacts to events in his regular Shadowland column, he writes from a perspective of utter symbiotic knowledge of his subject—middle east nationalism, terrorism, Islamic roots and drives—and his journalism has been prescient, especially in his forecasts of the disastrous result of the Iraq incursion.

I know Chris so well, it’s easier for me to describe his work and intentions than that of others in the media. But others have taken similar stances regarding the Iraq War, and the Bush administration. The fact that people like Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice had access to the same expertise as Chris Dickey’s, and that they either ignored it, or had other motives and agendas to exercise—that is why we are in the quagmire now, and why Iraqi people suffer in a tenuous environment at least as unsafe as the one prior to the deposing of Saddam.

The solution is to extricate US forces from Iraq as soon as possible. Even this obvious answer to the problems Chris and others have described, due to occupation of a foreign land, is not embraced by those who are unhappy with our involvement in Iraq. According to Tom Hayden, Senator Barbara Boxer is hedging in her latest emails by using the term “success strategy” relating to Iraq:

The phrase is cute - "success strategy" - rhymes with exit strategy, sounds more Californian than "military victory strategy". The only promise she makes is that there is no deadline for withdrawal.--Hayden Blog Huffington Post

It doesn’t really matter how the verbiage is couched—Bush isn’t even discussing leaving Iraq, except for vague references in leaked British memos to a possible program of removing a substantial number of troops next year. And that is probably a PR feeler due to his crummy showing in the latest polls.

Past articles of Christopher Dickey make one thing very clear—it pays to pay attention. Let’s not be like an acquaintance of mine who, when I complained that people are either ignorant or apathetic about Iraq, said, “I don’t know and I don’t care!”

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