Sunday, August 28, 2005

Conservative look at flypaper

First, Belgravia Dispatch is not a rag from the left. Believe it.

Second, as recently as last week the president was defending the war in Iraq by saying if we don't fight them over there, we will have to fight them at home. That line of argument is called the "flypaper" idea. It was specifically called that two years ago by David Warren. (

Third, this somewhat longish essay should be required reading.

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...The sore thumb of the U.S. occupation -- and it is a sore thumb equally to Baathists and Islamists, compelling their response -- is not a mistake. It is carefully hung flypaper.

Well it's quite a "playground" all right, with almost 2,000 U.S. servicemen dead, approximately 15,000 wounded, other coalition fatalities and casualties, not to mention myriad Iraqi ones, including many innocents. But let's put aside Warren's, shall we say, poor choice of tone, and, instead stick to a substantive rebuttal, OK? Here's what's wrong with flypaper:

1) It assumes a finite number of jihadis willing to die.

2) Indeed, and related to 1, it ignores that Iraq may be creating more jihadists--not all of whom are rushing to Damascus en route to parts Anbar.

3) It further ignores the fact that some jihadists, terrorists and fundementalist radicals are gaining valuable experience in terror tactics in Iraq, as CIA reports have indicated, and then heading back out of country to theaters like Europe to pursue attacks there.

4) Flypaper, of course, also ignores dozens of terror attacks outside of Iraq since the advent of hosilities there in early 2003, witness (and this is not a comprehensive tally): [Long, detailed list of casualties follows...]

5) As serious observers of international terrorist organizations well realize, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, PFLP-GC, DFLP, Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah, Chechen separatists (and quite a few other groups besides) are not rushing their forces into Iraq to fight the American Satan near the Green Zone or in Anbar Province--as they've got their own battles to wage.

6) It follows, of course, that Warren's argument that flypaper acts to protect Israel is risible (leaving aside, of course, why American policymakers should be hugely pre-occupied with creating "a good, solid, American excuse, from which Israel has been extracted" (Warren's words) as the very center of a war strategy ostensibly, one would think, primarily concerned with the U.S. national interest, rather than any other countries--yes even including close and important allies).

7) UBL and his henchmen know full well that a mega-terror attack on the scale of 9/11 in a London, New York or Los Angeles would have a hugely larger impact than dozens felled in the latest car bombing of a Shi's shrine near Karbala. You can hang the flytrap from Casablanca to Jakarta and al-Qaeda operatives will still be trying to hit major Western metropolises. [...]

8) Dare I even raise it...the moral angle: [To quote another source '...has anyone thought about why we're justified in using another nation as flypaper in the first place, even if it was a viable, effective strategy? What gives us the right to use a sovereign nation as a catch basin for carnage so we can go on blissfully consuming and merrily flipping real estate here?']...Do Iraqi lives just not matter?

9) ...Flypaper is really happening. It's true! Iraq is jihadi central, big time, and they are pouring in in massive numbers. And what if, just, we lose Iraq, with more and more Iraqis radicalized...because we have failed to provide security there because of said influx? Than what?

10) A final problem with flypaper. It's a lie, and it will fly back and smack the President hard in the face when the inevitable next terror attack occurs in the U.S. Those listening and relying and believing his stump speech, credulous people in the heartland, who really think 'we are fighting them there so we don't need to here'--well, they will feel profoundly deceived. That's not good when you are already languishing at 40% in the polls.

There ya go. Ten reasons. Count 'em...
His words, folks, not mine.
Read it for yourself.

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