Atheist Christopher Hitchens–who has been arguing with believers in the wake of his latest book (“God Is Not Great”)–has discovered a group he regards as even less logical than Christians:
“[A]s I relish seeing the faithful fight among themselves, the believers are models of lucidity when compared to the hair-splitting secularists who cannot accept that al-Qaida in Mesopotamia is a branch of al-Qaida itself,” Hitchens notes.
The column refutes several of the favorite anti-war myths:
“To say that the attempt to Talibanize Iraq would not be happening at all if coalition forces were not present is to make two unsafe assumptions and one possibly suicidal one. The first assumption is that the vultures would never have gathered to feast on the decaying cadaver of the Saddamist state, a state that was in a process of implosion well before 2003. All our experience of countries like Somalia and Sudan, and indeed of Afghanistan, argues that such an assumption is idiotic. It is in the absence of international attention that such nightmarish abnormalities flourish. The second assumption is that the harder we fight them, the more such cancers metastasize. This appears to be contradicted by all the experience of Iraq. Fallujah or Baqubah might already have become the centers of an ultra-Taliban ministate, as they at one time threatened to do, whereas now not only have thousands of AQM goons been killed but local opinion appears to have shifted decisively against them and their methods.
“The third assumption, deriving from the first two, would be that if coalition forces withdrew, the AQM gangsters would lose their raison d’être and have nothing left to fight for. I think I shall just leave that assumption lying where it belongs: on the damp floor of whatever asylum it is where foolish and wishful opinions find their eventual home….
“If I am right about this, an enormous prize is within our reach. We can not only deny the clones of Bin Ladenism a military victory in Iraq, we can also discredit them in the process and in the eyes (and with the help) of a Muslim people who have seen them up close. We can do this, moreover, in a keystone state of the Arab world that guards a chokepoint-the Gulf-in the global economy.”