November 20, 2004

Battle of the Bulge without the German Army...

Here's another interesting Paul Wolfowitz quote from the Prospect Magazine interview:

Radek Sikorski With the benefit of hindsight and now that the election campaign is over, what would you say could have been done differently in Iraq?

Paul Wolfowitz People make a lot about the decision to dismiss the Iraqi army. But I don't think people are shooting at Americans and blowing up schools because we dismissed the Iraqi army. When people talk about why Iraq is as difficult as it is, they always start and finish with a list of American mistakes. Nobody ever talks about the enemy. It would be like saying why the battle of the bulge was tough without ever mentioning the German army. Saddam Hussein didn't stop fighting us, at least until he was captured in December last year. Al-Zarqawi didn't surrender when Baghdad fell. He stepped up his efforts.

There are all these organisations that are unheard of in Europe and barely known in the US that people ought to know about. There was the M-14 division of the Iraqi intelligence service, its so-called "anti-terrorism" division, which specialised in hijackings and bombings, kidnappings and assassinations. There was the M-16 division, which perfected new bombing techniques. Many of these guys are out in Falluja and Ramadi in the western parts of Iraq today making bombs. A fellow named Abu Ibrahim spent 20 years in Iraq developing these techniques. He can fashion plastic explosives in the shape of decorative wall hangings. He was putting bombs in suitcases on American airplanes in 1982. If you don't understand that the people who killed and raped and murdered and tortured for 35 years are not quitting and still think they can win, then you won't understand what we're fighting...

It's a useful litmus test of attitudes, to just notice those who assume, ab initio, that any problems in Iraq (or anywhere) are due to mistakes by the US. There are sure are a lot of them, and they assume that all the world is peaceful and happy until American shows up. Of course they only look at those places in the world where America happens to be active. So those are the only places where they see problems.

The thought that there might be trouble in Iraq precisely because we are doing something right is not a concept they can grasp. Strange as it may seem, the fact that brutal killers—torturers and murderers—hate what we are up to, and will stop at nothing to prevent it, is never taken as evidence that we are on the right track...

Posted by John Weidner at November 20, 2004 10:40 AM
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