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Blood, soil, and Iraq



On March 27, a little over a week into the war, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair faced reporters at Camp David. With the drive to Baghdad stalled, and American and British soldiers facing stiffer resistance than expected, reporters wanted to know how long the war was going to last.

The President bristled. "However long it takes," he said. "That's the answer to your question, and that's what you got to know." Thumping the podium, he went on: "And the Iraqi people have got to know that, see. They got to know that they will be liberated and Saddam Hussein will be removed, no matter how long it takes."

So there we have it: George W. Bush still thinks Iraqis are yearning to be "liberated." He says he is prepared to keep killing them for "however long it takes" until they are "liberated." The President, along with the rest of his administration, has managed to overlook the strongest collective force in the world: the call of blood and soil.

This is part of the price we pay for pretending to believe the silly nonsense we say about ourselves: that race, religion, and ethnicity aren't important; that anyone can become an American (and by implication anything else); that a combination of democracy and Coca-Cola dissolves all parochial loyalties; that all the world wants to be as rootless and raceless as we are; and that the Iraqis will therefore rejoice when foreign invaders impose upon them the American way of life.

The war advocates first told us that Shiites and Sunnis would set aside their differences, join hands, and, as Vice President Cheney promised, greet us with music and flowers. Short of that, at least the Shiites would be on our side, and would fight the ruling Sunnis for us. Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and the rest of them completely forgot about Blut und Boden. The Shiites and Sunnis have set aside their differences, all right — and have joined together to kill as many of us as they can.

Even bitter enemies unite in the face of alien attack, and we are the aliens most likely (after the Israelis, perhaps) to guarantee monolithic hostility. The Iraqis already hate us for ten years of sanctions, for unilaterally enforcing no-fly zones, and for backing the Israelis against the Palestinians. Shiites and Sunnis are men of the same blood, who will forget their sectarian differences and unite against the white, infidel invader.

On the same day the President was pounding his podium, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was lecturing two congressional committees on the course of the war. Once we smash the Republican Guard outside Baghdad, he explained, the Shiites in the city are likely to rise up against their Sunni masters, and we will not even have to fight.

Rumsfeld doesn't realize that bombing Iraq only makes Saddam Hussein appear more heroic, not only in the eyes of Iraqis but of all Arabs. The longer this war goes on, the more Iraqis we kill in the process of liberating them, the more doggedly they will fight us. Has Rumsfeld forgotten that the aerial bombardments of the Second World War did not break national will but only stiffened it? Has he forgotten that even the Soviet Union, which had preached anti-nationalism and worldwide dictatorship of the proletariat, suddenly appealed to love of mother Russia when the Germans attacked?

At his Camp David press conference, Bush promised us the war will go on until Saddam Hussein is removed. To remove him we will have to find him. That means fighting our way into the heart of Baghdad, street by street, against people who hate us and whom we have given every reason to hate us. To the rest of the world, our tanks rolling through the rubble of Baghdad will look exactly like Israeli tanks rolling through the rubble of Nablus or Ramallah.

Out of our foolish belief that peoplehood and common descent are trivial matters we have made a terrible miscalculation about the resolve of the people of Iraq. What was to be a quick, easy war is turning into a slow, bloody slog. The battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqis is already lost. Some day even Bush may realize that what he persists in calling "liberation" is a grindingly brutal imposition of alien will upon a people who are increasingly united in their desire to kill us.

March 29, 2003

Jared Taylor is editor of American Renaissance.

© 2003 Jared Taylor. All rights reserved.

Related article by Mr. Taylor.

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