"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Democratic Iraq

"Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has claimed that violence is decreasing, saying that the country would never slide into a civil war.

Mr Maliki has refused to be drawn on a timetable for the withdrawal of the 130,000 US and 7,000 British troops who form the bulk of the foreign force in Iraq." [RTE]

"91.7% of Iraqis oppose the presence of coalition troops in the country, up from 74.4% in 2004. 84.5% are "strongly opposed". Among Sunnis, opposition to the US presence went from 94.5% to 97.9% (97.2% "strongly opposed"). Among Shia, opposition to the US presence went from 81.2% to 94.6%, with "strongly opposed" going from 63.5% to 89.7%. Even among the Kurds, opposition went from 19.6% to 63.3%. In other words, it isn't just that Iraqis oppose the American presence - it's that their feelings are intense: only 7.2% "somewhat oppose" and 4.7% "somewhat support."" [Lenin's Tomb] [Poll conducted by the University of Michigan]

And on Iran:

In the Times today Charles Krauthammer foams at the mouth:

"The point of this multilateral exercise cannot be to stop Iran's nuclear programme by diplomacy. That has always been a fantasy. It will take military means. There will be terrible consequences from such an attack. These must be weighed against the terrible consequences of allowing an openly apocalyptic Iranian leadership to acquire weapons of genocide. The point of the current elaborate exercise in multilateral diplomacy is to slightly alter that future calculation.

By demonstrating extraordinary forbearance and accommodation, perhaps we will have purchased the acquiescence of our closest allies - Britain, Germany and, yes, France - to a military strike on that fateful day when diplomacy has run its course." [The Irish Times]