Insurgency is a Legitimate Nationalist Movement

Richard Cohen (who recently suggested the test of a legitimate war is if you are willing to forcibly send your grown man of a son to, presumably, die in it, in the mode of the biblical Abraham) is back with another insipid, whimpering walk down memory lane as he attempts to relive the glory days of Vietnam. Cohen asserts, incredibly, that the terrorists have the support of the Iraqi people. Think I’m lying? Let’s take a look:

In Vietnam, it took the U.S. forever to recognize that it was not fighting international communism but a durable and vibrant nationalist movement led by Communists. Something similar may be happening in Iraq. Yes, foreign terrorists are flocking to the country. But the Sunni insurgency is a different thing. The Sunnis may work with foreign terrorists and gladly use their expertise, but their goals are not the same. The salient and depressing fact remains that no insurgency can survive for long without either the cooperation or the apathy of the populace.

Cohen takes time to scoff at our allies who are putting their lives and treasure on the line:

…Bush cited the “8 million Iraqi men and women” who voted, the “30 nations” with troops in Iraq (a total joke, and the President knows it), the “40 countries” and “three international organizations” that have pledged “$34 billion” in reconstruction assistance (another joke).

If those are jokes, Richard, I guess I’ve lost my sense of humor…but then, no one but you is laughing.

Thus, Cohen joins Bob Herbert, Paul Krugman, and Frank Rich as a charter member of the “Vietnam is the only point of comparison I have, so by God I’m gonna use it” club. Let’s get one thing straight…the ability to blow yourself up and kill others is not a strategy, and it sure isn’t victory. If it was, the Palestinian government would be holding court in Jerusalem…


  1. 1
    Two Dogs Says:

    This is the best post from an online magazine that I have ever read. Kudos, Mark, good work.


  2. 2
    Mark Says:

    Two Dogs, thanks, and may I just say that I also enjoy your online magazine, as well…


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    Paul Deignan Says:

    I have a diferent take on the matter than Richard. It seems to me that the frequency and seve