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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Balancing Act
From the NY Times:
President Bush's aides debated the trade-off between locking down Baghdad and demonstrating to Iraqis that they now live in an open society, where they are free to shop, go to work or even protest the American-led occupation.
It is a balancing act, one senior administration official said during Mr. Bush's trip to Asia, that is being made all the more difficult by the absence of vocal support from the rest of the Arab world.

There has been no outcry, he noted, from "neighboring states our allies as the attacks on Americans have mounted. No outcry at all. Which has got to embolden the terror groups."

Mr. Bush is also increasingly concerned about the infiltration of foreign fighters from the Iranian and Syrian borders. Measuring their numbers is nearly impossible, American officials say. But the concern is that they are a source of continuing funds, technology and strength for the pro-Hussein forces.

A few comments:
Maybe I'm sticking too much to left-wing sites, but I don't see a lot of evidence that Iraqis are living in an "open" society. Tanks rolling down the streets, checkpoints all over, no work to go to; doesn't seem all that open to me.

No outcry from "neighboring states our allies?" Those same allies whose opinions we ignored when we decided to start this illegal war in the first place?

Notice how they always focus on foreign fighters infiltrating from Iran and Syria, even though they apparently have no idea how many there are. Certainly some are infiltrating from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan as well? But those countries are farther down the PNAC invasion list; best not to scare them too much yet. And what about those 200,000 foreign fighters who invaded Iraq from Kuwait last March? That's the biggest problem in Iraq right now. I swear, if Bush owns a mirror, he's gone through it.