The Iraqi Resistance and the Noble Cause

by Daniel on January 13, 2005

The Iraqis will be going to the elections at the end of the month, so it is unsurprising that the insurgents have stepped up their campaign of blowing up tanks and chopping off heads. The is an awful lot of rubbish talked about the Iraqi insurgents; a simple look at the geographical distribution of their attacks shows that they unlikely to all be Sunnis or Ba’athists, and they are not targeting civilians in much greater proportion to military targets than we are. Whatever Christopher Hitchens thinks, they are the direct moral equivalent of the Viet Cong; they represent much of what is worst about the human condition, and any future in which they gained power would most likely be outright disastrous, but for all that, to take up arms against an occupying foreign army is not an ignoble thing to do, and I can quite understand why lots of people on the left have been sympathetic to them.

But history has passed them by. Iraq is not Vietnam (or more specifically, Iran is not China) and they have no hope of victory. All they can really do is prolong the occupation and therefore the misery. The time has well past by which anyone with brains in their head could reasonably hope for anything other than swift and reasonably democratic elections, a declaration of victory and for the coalition troops to jump in the tanks, start the engines and stop driving when they see the first McDonalds. Whatever happens, this war will have been a collossal waste of money and life; tens of thousands of excess deaths to create a puppet state. (By the way, as part of their debt relief deal, the Iraqis are currently negotiating a program with the IMF which will involve removing the market-distorting provision of subsidised food to the poor. I do hope that the Lancet will do a study into the effects of that, and that war crimes trials will result). But this is by the by as far as supporting the Iraqi resistance is concerned. Below the fold, I’ve posted a poem by Robert Burns that sums it up better than I ever could.

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Brass crescent awards

by Chris Bertram on January 13, 2005

Via the “Head Heeb”: , I see that “alt.muslim is hosting the Brass Crescent Awards”: for the best blogs by Muslims. There are also awards for the most insightful post and for blogs by non-Muslims that engage respecfully with Islam. “Juan Cole”: , “Jonathan Edelstein”: , “Scott Martens”: and “Gary Farber”: [previously accidentally omitted] all get nominated in various categories. An opportunity for us to explore the diversity of the Islamic blogosphere.

25 years of the German Green Party

by Chris Bertram on January 13, 2005

Today is the 25th anniversary of the German Green Party who, for better or worse, have made a lasting impression on European politics. Der Spiegel (in English) “compares the fortunes of Die Grünen with those of the British Greens”:,1518,336637,00.html (founded earlier, but never really made an impression). Deutsche Welle “also has a 25-year retrospective”:,1564,1457301,00.html .