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Saturday, July 30, 2005

The legitimacy of the Iraq war?

I finally got around to reading Paul Wolfowitz's "exit interviews" in the July/August 2005 Atlantic, conducted by Mark Bowden.

I'd like to analyze much of what he said, but I'm too tired tonight.

However, I've got to put this up ASAP.

On September 15, 2004, Bowden pressed Wolfowitz to explain what failure in Iraq might look like. Wolfowitz "dodged the question" and replied:
"One reason I don't think we will fail is because all the enemy has is its ability to terrorize," he said. "It doesn't promise people a better life. Does it appeal to Iraqi nationalism? It certainly doesn't appeal to Shiite or Kurdish views of the Iraq they want to see. I don't think it appeals to most Sunnis. So we have superior force, we've got resources and a lot of money, which is slowly making a difference. But that alone isn't enough. At the core what we have is legitimacy. I don't mean we as Americans, but this effort has legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqi people as a whole."
In Wolfowitz's world, up continues to be down. And vice versa.

I've blogged on a number of occasions about the legitimacy crisis in US foreign policy, the neocon view of legitimacy, the legitimacy of resistance against foreign occupation, and the illegitimacy of the Iraq war.

Wolfowitz's statement has me flabbergasted.

"At the core what we have is legitimacy."

They couldn't get a UN resolution, the coalition of the willing is a joke, US poll numbers around the world are terrible, the Iraqi people want the US out, President Bush has said he wouldn't want his country to to be occupied...

"At the core what we have is legitimacy."

Sleep on that.

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