On the Iraq war II

 

Dear Editor:

 

So now you claim that the fact that there is no credible evidence of collaboration between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, as the September 11th Commission has now put it, is a sideshow (Editorial, June 17).

 

On the contrary, this result refutes the ideological underpinning of the invasion and occupation of Iraq that you have supported, that it is part of a war on terror, after the specific political rationale about weapons of mass destruction has already been discredited. It is true that thoughtful people have long understood what the commission has now made official, but the fact that it has done so means that there is no longer any rational way to deny the basic illegitimacy of the occupation. (Nor will the purported transfer of power at the end of this month make any difference, since the U.S. military will remain autonomous.)

 

Of course, your partner in the venture, the Bush administration, touts a fictitious collaboration because it understands something you apparently do not. Namely, the war rationale relies on a stereotype whose force is mythic and therefore is not subject to refutation by mere rational means such as commission reports based on facts: that any Arab or Muslim, especially one who opposes U.S. foreign policy, is by definition a potential terrorist. Your editorial hopes to get certain administration figures to stop embarrassing your cause by harping on this, but I can only say good luck.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

(6/17/04)

 

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