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January 15, 2008



And then there's the Awakening councils, with most of the members of them being former insurgents who have now decided that the Americans are the lesser of two evils when compared with the "Islamic State of Iraq". The surge has been more successful than most thought it would be, but it's those two things that have achieved far more than just more American troops have.


It's amazing what you can do once you accept people as they actually are in their existing forms of social organisation - no matter what you think of these - rather than trying to create a new middle east by force around them and expecting them to buy into the process. One up for relativism.


Hi Jamie - just to say, the link you posted doesn't seem to work.

Didn't that Kilcullen article you posted a while back more or less acknowledge that the "success of the surge" happened more or less independently of "the surge"?


Ta. I'll fix presently.

re: Kilcullen. yes and no, I'd say. It was becoming fairly obvious that the tribes in Anbar and eslewhere were chafing under ISI control, but they needed money, guns and logistical support to getr rid of them, and this they got. On the US side, you basically reconceptualised al-Qaeda as radical imperialists and then capitalised on the forces of reaction. All of which is an absolute negation of the principles people like Alan Johnson say they support.


It's like a persistent salesman with a crap product "hey, don't let's get hung up on this neoconservatism thing! let's just call it 'the Decent Left!'! oh all right then, 'social democracy'! Whatever!" I'm reminded of StuartA's joke that a neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality, and who was so traumatised by the mugging that he is no longer able to face his attacker.

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