Thursday, September 22, 2005

Recruitment in Iraq 

Yesterday I noted that there was evidence that suicide attackers in Iraq were being coerced, and what that might say about their ability to recruit new soldiers. I missed President Talabani's excellent essay in the Wall Street Journal, in which he observed that the opposite is also true:
Every terrorist attack on Iraqi forces leads to a surge in military recruitment--the opposite of the appeasers' myth that resisting terrorism causes more terrorism.

The comparisons of Iraq to Vietnam collapse when one closely examines the huge differences between those two wars. Even if, as in Vietnam, there is some infiltration of the Iraqi military and police by sympathizers of the insurgency, the population is responding aggressively to fight against it. In Iraq, the terrorists slaughter recruits on line at police stations and military bases, and they show up again the next day. Twenty percent of the population can keep the 80% down when they control the oil, and therefore the money, to gain a monopoly on the use of force. The "twenty" does not stand a chance against the "eighty" when the opposite is true.


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