9/11 Game On

Surprise, surprise, terrorist attacks have continued since the US troops have departed. This takes the wind out of the sails of the conspiracy theorists who said that the terrorism was a reaction to the occupation. There is no occupation. The US troops have come in, set up democratic institutions, then left, exactly like they said they were going to do.

The fact that it took 9 years instead of 9 days to set up the new democratic institutions is immaterial. It was always just a technical task to do, and the US has done an excellent job, and everyone believes (because it is true) that the new institutions are a fresh start for Iraq.

But now we have a democracy, Iraq, under terrorist attack. Exactly as the situation was on 9/11. What do we make of this? After 9/11 the big question was "OK, who do we start bombing now?", and the superficial answer appeared to be "Arab Muslims" or similar. But thanks to Iraq we can now see that that would have been an unfair target. Because the Shia Arab Muslims in Iraq are under attack from the same sort of Sunni terrorists that the US was. The Shia of Iraq should now be off the US's "genocide list". They have been given a chance to save their lives - the US did the moral thing here instead of violently lashing out at everyone. Honestly, the US deserves a lot of kudos.

So what's the solution? Well we're hoping the Iraqi Shia can answer that question for us, now that they have skin in the game. One Iraqi Shia that I spoke to estimated that 99% of Iraqi Sunni were bad. I don't think the figures are quite that bad, but they are pretty bad, with 93% supporting attacks on coalition forces (when they were there).

So anyway, there has been a 10 year hiatus since 9/11, but thanks to the Iraq war we are now we're well-positioned to ask the question again - who are these people that are attacking democracies, and who do we need to kill to stop them? Their reasons for attacking are less important (other than a means to identify them), as democracies should not be surrendering to terrorist threats. The UK spent a lot of effort to make it clear it wouldn't give in to IRA terrorism - although it was willing to assist in preventing the Catholics from feeling disenfranchised. The same thing can be done with the Sunni in Iraq - there should be a place for peaceful non-terrorist-supporting Sunni in the new Iraq, although that appears to be a minority at the moment. Interestingly we don't seem to have a problem with the Sunni Arabs in Tunisia and Libya, so the challenge remains to identify the enemy in the War on Terror. Of course, I have previously identified the enemy in message 666 (religious bigots etc), but I have yet to figure out what specific factors are causing people to fall into the enemy vs ally camps.

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