Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The myth that the terrorists are fighting a foreign occupation

Bush went to Camp Pendleton today, in his spiffy new Kim Jong Il/Bond villain uniform.

Despite it being December 7, he made only one glancing reference to Pearl Harbor. He did, however, talk about 9/11, once again linking it to Iraq: “Our success in Iraq will make America safer for us and for future generations. As one Marine sergeant put it, ‘I never want my children to experience what we saw in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania.’” He also went on and on about how wonderful soldiers are, which would be fine if he ever did the same--and meant it--for teachers or doctors.

He also said that “When Iraqis choose their leaders in free elections, it will destroy the myth that the terrorists are fighting a foreign occupation and make clear that what the terrorists are really fighting is the will of the Iraqi people”. “Myth” is too silly to need a comment from me, so let’s focus on the notion of a single, undivided “will of the Iraqi people.” There is no such thing, and the concept is actually dangerous in an ethnically, religiously and politically divided polity like Iraq’s, because it treats dissent, compromise and pluralism as illegitimate. There is no room for a Kurd, a Shiite or indeed a secularist in this “will of the Iraqi people.”

Also, he said all this just three days after praising general slash president slash dictator Musharaf as proving that Muslim societies can “self-govern.”

Speaking of champions of democracy, Vladimir Putin says he “cannot imagine” how elections will take place in Iraq.

The Serbian military is paying a pension to indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic (remember him?). Mladic is of course in hiding, and his check is picked up by a relative.

Pakistan’s federal law banning the execution of minors has been overturned, allowing Punjab province to hang criminals as young as... 7. But at least they can self-govern.

Karzai explains his strategy for hiding male pattern baldness.

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