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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Friday, January 26, 2007

The sliding rationales for targeting Iranians in Iraq

I may be overdissecting the language here, but this has troubled me all day. When faced with a question today about targeting Iranians in Iraq, (one of only two he took,) Bush responded with this structure.
I made it very clear, as did the Secretary, that our policy is going to be to protect our troops in Iraq. It makes sense that if somebody is trying to harm our troops, or stop us from achieving our goal, or killing innocent citizens in Iraq, that we will stop them. That's an obligation we all have, is to protect our folks and achieve our goal.

As I read this, he's giving three justifications for when Iranians can be terminated in Iraq. 1) "trying to harm our troops." 2) "stopping us from achieveing our goal." 3) "killing civilians."

I don't think anyone would have a serious argument against numbers one or three, although there are sliding levels of culpability that may cloud that certainty, but let's look at number two, "stopping us from achieving our goals."

What does that mean? If an Iranian in country is advising the Shia not to work with the Sunnis on the budget, or maybe advising delay in the implementation of the oil law, are they "stopping us from achieving our goals?" What if they are encouraging the Shia to unite with the Kurds and cut the Sunnis out of the government?

It just seems a very open expression to justify such an inflammatory policy.

Also: The silence from the Iraqis today has been nearly deafening. The Foreign Minister was on CNN today, dancing like crazy to not really make a statement, but I think that was about it.


  • "stopping us from achieving our goals?"

    And exactly what are 'our goals'? To my understanding, there has been no clear statement to date what precisely 'our goals' may be.

    I'm not certain what high and noble purpose is being served by an occupation of Iraq.

    By Anonymous local insurgent, at 11:28 PM  

  • "An Iraq that can protect and defend itself that is an ally in the war on terror."

    As Iran is the State Dept's "top funder of international terrorism," I would guess that means Iraq is supposed to be a hostile counterweight to Iran, a friendly base from which the US can stage anti-Iran operations.

    Could be wrong. Those are only the administration's oft repeated words.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:33 AM  

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