September 6, 2003

Asking For Trouble

Reuel Marc Gerecht thinks using more foreign troops in Iraq may be a bad idea. Especially Arab Muslims from neighboring countries. We might as well have the Hatfields guarding the McCoys. These thugs have already shown that they hate U.N. diplomats and moderate Shiite clerics no less than they hate American soldiers. Anyone attempting to bring order and democracy to Iraq is their enemy. Here's an excerpt from the Gerecht article:

The Bush administration's embrace of odd, counterproductive notions is nowhere more evident than in its energetic pursuit of foreign Muslim troops for Iraq. The reasoning for these deployments--which probably won't happen unless the United States gets the consent of the French, Germans, and Russians at the U.N.--apparently is that Iraqi Muslims would respect foreign Muslim troops more than they respect American soldiers. Leaving aside why in the world the Bush administration would want to deploy Muslim soldiers from nondemocratic countries to Iraq, the Muslim-likes-Muslim sentiment behind this argument is a myth. Middle Eastern history teaches the opposite. Since the dawn of the 19th century Muslim states have shown much greater confidence in the professionalism of Western soldiers than of fellow Muslims. Rulers and intellectuals may say nasty things about Westerners publicly, but privately they have consistently shown that they feel safer with infidels than they do with their own. After the first Gulf War, the Persian Gulf states made a big show of wanting the Egyptians and the Syrians, not the Americans, to assume the responsibility for their security. No Egyptian or Syrian soldier ever landed. The sheikhs and the intellectuals may hate us in their hearts; but they absolutely don't want to entrust their property, wives, and daughters to foreign Arab Muslims.

Shiite Iraqis in particular are acutely conscious that their Arab and Muslim brethren didn't support the war against Saddam. Indeed, Iraqis watched on Arab satellite television with bitter enmity and black humor the antiwar demonstrations throughout the Middle East (and in Europe).

Posted by dan at September 6, 2003 8:04 PM