Stabilizing Iraq

Amir Taheri has another perceptive column on the violence in Iraq and how to stop it. Taheri believes that the ultimate solution lies in getting the Iraqi police and army operational as soon as possible. This is exactly what the coalition is beginning to do – although they need to speed up the ability of the new Iraqi government to begin policing itself rather than placing US soldiers in harm’s way.

The violence in Iraq is continuing as there are daily attacks on US soldiers. The most recent attack claimed another US soldier’s life, this time in As-Sulayka. However, there was one coda to this tragedy worth noting:

The attack wounded three other soldiers from the 1st Armored Division, and an Iraqi bystander helped pull the Americans from their Humvees, saving the life of at least one of them, the U.S. military said.

"One man who worked at a nearby stand helped the soldiers out of the vehicles. That probably saved one soldier’s life," said Ld. Col. John Kem at the scene of the attack.

These things are important as the average Iraqis are not the ones shooting at our soldiers. In fact, the militants are killing Iraqi civilians along with coalition troops – and the Iraqi people are tired of random violence. The Iraqi people are not about to return to the repression of the Ba’athists, and the militants aren’t winning over the Iraqi people. While Gen. Abizaid is right in saying this is a kind of guerilla warfare, it’s hardly another Vietnam. The militants will be brought to justice and the process of rebuilding Iraq will continue.

4 thoughts on “Stabilizing Iraq

  1. Jay, I’m curious – how come you never post any articles about intellectual property/freedom issues?

    I mean, I can understand how it’s a troubling issue for conservatives – on one hand, you have the freedom of culture at stake, with “fair use” copyright exemptions eroding every day, and on the other, the interests of corporations. Choosing between freedom and captialism is hard for conservatives, I know.

    For more realistic thinkers it’s simply more evidence that the interests of corporations and the interests of democracy don’t always intersect.

  2. I occasionally touch on those subjects, but they’re not main area of specialty.

    In general, what’s good for the market is not necessarily what’s good for a specific corporation. The reason why there are issues with fair use doctrine are because corporations like Disney are using the government to serve their ends rather than the market. These problems could be avoided if politicians didn’t have the ability to meddle in areas of policy that give undue control to any single agency. The reason why Clear Channel has such a lock on radio stations in major metro areas is because the regulatory cost for getting a broadcast license is so high that smaller players are effectively locked out of the market. (And partially because as scary as it is, people tend to like the dreck that’s on the radio.)

    The best way to increase diversity is to increase competition, and the best way to increase competition is by lowering the barriers to entry for new players.

    Furthermore, the ones who are doing the most to erode fair use rights aren’t Republicans – Democrats like Fritz Hollings (who might as well be the Senator from Disney) and Joseph Biden are the ones leading the charge against fair use rights. Furthermore, according to FEC postings the single largest contributor to the Democratic Party were TV/Movie/Music corporations, giving a whopping $32,403,975 to the Democratic Party.

  3. The best way to increase diversity is to increase competition, and the best way to increase competition is by lowering the barriers to entry for new players.

    Well, I definately agree with you on that. But the barriers to entry aren’t always government regulation but rather anti-competitive business practices. In this case, however, it’s anti-comptetive business practices in the form of government regulation. 🙂

  4. Because oftentime, media regulations are specifically designed to throttle conservative media outlets – which is why proponents of media regulation mention Clear Channel rather than NPR and FoxNews rather than CNN.

    The fact remains that we have more media outlets than ever before, much of it due to deregulation including spectrum auctions and the lack of regulation on the Internet. Had their been the kind of stringent control on media ownership, those voices would have been silenced.

    There is no reasonable evidence that suggests that media ownership regulations do anything to broaden media diversity – rather such regulations ensure that the company that can lobby the most effectively has an inherent advantage.

    Then again, the Disney Democrats seem to like it that way…

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