Buddha Patriot

A Classically Liberal Neoconservative Tibetan Buddhist from the Midwest

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hitchens on the "Real Sunni Triangle"

Just came across this 3-day-old article by Christopher_Hitchens on Slate :

The Real Sunni Triangle
There are only three options in Iraq.

These two paragraphs include arguments that finally convinced me to support the Iraq War some two years ago:

Many people write as if the sectarian warfare in Iraq was caused by
coalition intervention. But it is surely obvious that the struggle for mastery
has been going on for some time and was only masked by the apparently iron unity
imposed under Baathist rule. That rule was itself the dictatorship of a tribal
Tikriti minority of the Sunni minority and constituted a veneer over the
divisions beneath, as well as an incitement to their perpetuation. The Kurds had
already withdrawn themselves from this divide-and-rule system by the time the
coalition forces arrived, while Shiite grievances against the state were decades
old and had been hugely intensified by Saddam's cruelty. Nothing was going to
stop their explosion, and if Saddam Hussein's regime had been permitted to run
its course and to devolve (if one can use such a mild expression) into the
successorship of Udai and Qusai, the resulting detonation would have been even
more vicious.

And into the power vacuum would have stepped not only Saudi Arabia and
Iran, each with its preferred confessional faction, but also Turkey, in pursuit
of hegemony in Kurdistan. In other words, the alternative was never between a
tranquil if despotic Iraq and a destabilizing foreign intervention, but it was,
rather, a race to see which kind of intervention there would be. The
international community in its wisdom decided to delay the issue until the
alternatives were even fewer, but it is idle to pretend that Iraq was going to
remain either unified or uninvaded after the destruction of its fabric as a
state by three decades of fascism and war, including 12 years of demoralizing

Though it was the genocide in Darfur, Sudan and the American Left's reaction to it that tipped me over the edge into the realm of right-wing neoconservatism some two and a half years ago, it is the arguments above that have convinced me to support America's intervention in Iraq.


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