Monday, August 25, 2003

Making the swamp?

Words matter. Often

Joshua Marshall of Talking Points Memo writes:

"Look at the difference thus far between Afghanistan and Iraq. In the first place, we drained the swamp. In the second, we've made the swamp. "
I'm puzzled. Does Joshua actually think this "swamp" did not exist in Iraq before the invasion?

From all of the reports that I've seen, the "resistance" fighters who are continuing to harass our troops are either: a) former Ba'ath party members left over from Saddam's regime, or b) Islamic terrorists who've entered from neighboring countries to fight (or c) mercenaries, in which all bets are off).

The difference between this "swamp" and the former Afghan "swamp", however, is that terrorists were able to camp, train, hang out and watch The Sopranos via satellite at the various training compounds in Afghanistan. It really was a breeding ground for terrorists, as the Taliban actively supported the creation of training camps while working with (or for) Osama Bin Laden.

Now, there is good evidence that similar type camps were operating in Iraq with Saddam's blessing before the invasion; although it hasn't been proven beyond the proverbial shadow of a doubt, there is really actual doubt that it was so. I tend to doubt they exist anymore, except possibly in small pockets, but to the extent they were in Afghanistan? Probably not.

So is there a "swamp" in Iraq? You could probably call it that, but it's a little one, we didn't create it (in fact, we helped drain it), and it will only get smaller.

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