[Paleopsych] Iraq war

Christian Rauh christian.rauh at uconn.edu
Mon Jul 11 00:19:27 UTC 2005

I was trying not to write in this thread but couldn't help myself.

Following Steve's comment "killing civilians may make perfect sense". I 
want to add that killing civilians is not an "evil" strategy that 
resistance fighthers would not use hadn't they been infiltrated by 
terrorists. The strategy makes sense.

Terrorism is a common strategy when confronting a much larger and 
powerful adversary in war. It has always been used, the change today is 
the suicide component, aparently.

What makes no sense is the Iraqi resistance trying to go against the US 
military or US equiped Iraqi forces in "conventional" fighting. The 
resistance would be crushed easily.

If civilians are the only targets they can reach then that's what they 
will hit. Of course, the treshold for that level of warfare is different 
for different groups but the rationale is always the same. In the past 
many terrorist were known as freedom fighters, ops, they still are 
called that.



shovland at mindspring.com wrote:
> Killing civilians may make perfect sense.
> After all, the politicians can't keep the war
> going if they know we are against them.
> Even if our elections are a sham, we still
> do them, and there is always the possibility 
> of wild cards.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Christopher <anonymous_animus at yahoo.com>
> Sent: Jul 9, 2005 8:41 PM
> To: paleopsych at paleopsych.org
> Subject: [Paleopsych] Iraq war
>>>If these bombers are Iraqi nationalists, there is
> hope that our departure from Iraq will cool the 
> conflict.  The thought of regional terrorists in the
> Middle East is indeed terrifying.<<
> --It's obviously a mixture, which brings up the
> question: will foreign terrorists transform Iraqi
> nationalists who would otherwise fight conventionally
> into terrorists who believe killing civilians is
> legitimate warfare? In the current situation, anyone
> who proves himself to be capable of killing US troops
> is likely to gain respect, but every bombing that
> targets Iraqis will most likely decrease respect for
> foreign terrorists. 
> Has the number of Iraqi suicide bombers (targeting
> civilians rather than soldiers) increased since
> Zarqawi set up shop? Conventional fighters who target
> soldiers would likely taper off their efforts when US
> troops leave and Iraqis take up the job of security,
> allowing Sunnis and borderline resistance members to
> take part in government without losing face (many
> would feel that cooperating with a US-sponsored Iraqi
> government would be humiliating and an admission of
> defeat... removing US troops would remove that motive
> as well). But foreign terrorists aren't going to leave
> unless Iraqis as a people stand against them. That
> becomes more likely every time Iraqis are targeted by
> terrorists, so the logical strategy for the US is to
> stay until Iraqis are known to be solidly against the
> presence of foreign terrorists and Iraqi nationalists
> begin to separate themselves from foreign terrorists
> by denouncing attacks on civilians. Any Iraqi
> resistance fighter who feels it's dishonorable to kill
> civilians is going to be less and less comfortable
> being associated with Zarqawi's terrorists, more
> likely to develop rifts with foreign organizers and
> more likely to leak information leading to the capture
> of Zarqawi and other terrorist leaders. 
> That pretty much sets up a series of events leading
> naturally to the war's end. Along with a global
> denunciation of terrorism by mainstream Muslims and
> renewed focus on the Israeli-Palestinian partition
> process, the general trend should be positive, as long
> as the US and Iran don't provoke one another into
> another war in the meantime. Bush will watch to see if
> Iranians stand up to their hardliners or bide their
> time thinking the US will intervene. With nobody in
> either party willing to impose a draft, an invasion of
> Iran is unlikely, leaving air strikes by the US or
> Israel as the only option. Would an air strike against
> Iran's government targets or nuclear facilities
> produce a larger pool of global terrorists seeking
> nuclear or biological weapons? Or would Iranian
> moderates take over immediately? Or both? 
> One assumption that should be eliminated is that there
> is some fixed number of terrorists, and that it's a
> good thing to draw them all into Iraq to fight them on
> their own ground. That logic makes sense at first
> glance, but it's based on an assumption that's not
> safe to make. But regardless of how one analyzes the
> overall situation, the immediate solution to Iraq is
> for the US to stay until there is good reason to
> believe Iraqi moderates can establish security and
> prevent foreign terrorists from gaining influence and
> using Iraq as a training ground. Once Zarqawi is
> captured or killed and Iraqi resistance members begin
> shunning foreign terrorists, it will be a lot easier
> for the US to leave, and attention can be focused on
> Iran. I don't really trust the current administration
> to handle it gracefully, but we have what we have.
> Hopefully enough systems thinkers will focus on
> geopolitics to provide a counterweight to the gung-ho
> mentality that will want to rely on forceful moves
> that may backfire in the long term. We've tended to
> rely on those moves in the past, doing whatever seemed
> strongest in the short term, like a beginner chess
> player who takes every piece that's offered. The end
> result is messy. Strong moves made hastily can add up
> to a weak foundation.
> Michael
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                        ~ I G N O R A N C E ~

              The trouble with ignorance is precisely that
              if a person lacks virtue and knowledge,
              he's perfectly satisfied with the way he is.
              If a person isn't aware of a lack,
              he can not desire the thing
              which he isn't aware of lacking.

              Symposium (204a), Plato

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