Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Here's your "sovereignty"

Advocates of the war on Iraq have consistently claimed -- at least since January's elections -- that it isn't a war on Iraq, but rather a war in Iraq, conducted against terrorists and insurgents with the support of a sovereign Iraqi government. In other words, that Iraq is not being occupied, but assisted.

Sovereignty can be a pretty fluid notion, but it has some sharp edges -- and one of those edges cut right through the bullshit yesterday to give lie to that piece of the pro-war case. A sovereign country has its own laws and may enforce those laws upon anyone within its borders ... even foreign soldiers who happen to be there to "assist" its government. A military force which assaults the local government's jail to free some of its members who have been lawfully arrested is an occupying force which considers itself, and not the "sovereign" local authorities, the de facto government in the area. Period.

Advocates of the war can no longer rely on arguments that go to sovereignty and assistance. Yesterday's events establish that Iraq is still a country under occupation, with foreign troops calling all the real shots. The war in Iraq is a war on Iraq, and Iraq's politicians therefore fall into two classes -- the occupation forces' quislings, or the enemy.

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