Iraq leaders say resistance is legitimate
I have always dismissed the idea of our simply pulling out of Iraq without a fully worked out plan for how we would carry on the war against our jihadist enemies after we pulled out. But an official communiqué issued by representatives of Iraq’s three main groups has me thinking for the first time that that’s what we ought to do. Meeting in Cairo to negotiate a reconciliation conference of Iraq’s Shi’ites, Kurds, and Sunnis, the leaders, who included Iraq’s president and members of the National Assembly, called for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces, and said that Iraq’s opposition had a “legitimate right” of resistance.
Though resistance is a legitimate right for all people, terrorism does not represent resistance. Therefore, we condemn terrorism and acts of violence, killing and kidnapping targeting Iraqi citizens and humanitarian, civil, government institutions, national resources and houses of worships.Let’s understand what is being said here. There is a right to resistance. This right does not include terrorism. Terrorism includes targeting Iraqi citizens and civil institutions. Pointedly, terrorism does not include targeting U.S. or Iraqi forces. So this group of Iraqi national leaders is saying that the terror insurgency—which of course is seeking to destroy the government in which they serve—has the legitimate right to blow up U.S. soldiers as they ride along Iraqi roads, carrying out, among other things, the reconstruction of that country. And these are the people for whose sake our men are dying and being maimed?
The statement is totally unacceptable. The Bush administration should issue an ultimatum declaring the following: Either the Iraqis immediately retract the statement, or we will forthwith pull our forces out of central Iraq to Kurdistan, which we will then use as a base from which to topple any troublesome regime that gets into power in Iraq, but we will no longer have anything to do with internal Iraqi affairs, including the rebuilding of the country.
I have previously quoted historian J.B. Bury’s great remark about the Arabs, and I’ll quote it again: “These barbarians, undesirable either as friends or foes.”