Aha. The Sunnis
say they want to work with US. This comes hard in the heels of
reports that the Baathist dead-enders protected al-Qaeda polling
places from jihadis during the just-concluded elections, in which
turnout pushed 70% even in the heart of the Sunni triangle.
I expect this story will be just as thoroughly overlooked in the
mainstream media as Qaddaffi’s
terrified capitulation was back in 2003. But it’s even more
important. We’re getting a clear message that the ex-Baathist end of
the insurgency wants to put down its guns and enter electoral
politics. This matters a lot, because they were most of the footsoldiers.
The al-Qaeda fighters are far fewer, and have alienated most Iraqis with
a terror campaign that has killed more Iraqis than it has coalition
If the insurgent leaders believe they must stop fighting, this
implies two other things: that the Sunni street has accepted that
Sunnis aren’t going to run Iraq any more, and consequently that Iraq
is not going to fly apart into three Kurdish, Sunni and Shi’a
fragments. The political foundations for a stable Iraq deeply hostile
to the Islamofascist program have been laid.
(Yes, I support the development of a stable Iraqi state despite
my anarcho-capitalism. This is because I don’t think it’s possible to
go from tribalism and autocracy to market anarchy in one go. At
mininimum, it takes a couple of generations of civil society to prepare
people for true self-government. Cultural experience matters.)
Others in the blogosphere have noted that George Bush’s most recent
speech uses a lot more “I”, that he’s taking personal responsibility
for the U.S.’s Iraq strategy, and that this means he is now sure of
victory and wants to nail down the credit. I agree with this
assessment. For the first time since 2003, I am now feeling fairly
sure that all the home-front sabotaging of the Iraq campaign by the
Left and the mainstream media is going to come to nothing in the end.
It’s not, after all, going to be Vietnam II; they will not snatch
defeat from the jaws of victory again.
I’d like to think this means emergency conditions will end soon,
and I can return to my natural position of calling for the dismantling
of government power rather than reluctantly supporting a government
war. Unfortunately, the Iraq campaign, like the Afghani campaign
before it, is only part of that longer-term war. I think it is quite
likely we will be required to invade and subdue Iran before the larger
struggle to break the will of Islamofascism is over. Alas, wishing we
had tools other than state power for achieving this won’t make it
Still. I expect to enjoy the effect on U.S. domestic politics as
the Iraq insurgency collapses. The American Left, having committed itself
to defeatism, is going to get badly hammered in the 2006 elections. I’d
relish that even more if I could be sure that the beneficiaries of their
collapse wouldn’t be the Republicans, but you can’t have everything.