Thursday, November 1, 2007

Iran: Another Unilateral Quagmire?

"Quagmire" is back.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned American leaders that if the U.S. attacked the Islamic Republic, Washington would be "stuck in a quagmire" that's worse than Iraq or Afghanistan.

Election years being what they are, I suspect that we may see 'quagmire fever' sweeping the candidates, and the blogosphere. (Remember 2003?)

"Quagmire" is a term I first ran into back in the days of the Vietnam War. Anti-war zealots made good use of the word as a description of America's involvement in a former French colony's civil war.

At the time, in that place, "Quagmire" was an excellent choice, reminding people of both the unpleasant situation in Vietnam, and the sodden nature of that country's terrain. As a sort of reality check, quagmire means "A soft boggy or marshy area that gives way under foot."

"Quagmire:" a very good choice, when looking for a way to make people feel bad about a conflict in a hot, damp, muddy country.

Many of the best and brightest (by their standards at least) in America still seem to be living on the corner of Haight and Ashbury, unaware that it's no longer 1969. That may explain why a conflict in countries that are mostly desert and mountain got referred to as a "quagmire."

If "quagmire" builds up enough momentum this time, I may finally hear some earnest and emotional politico cry out for an end to all those draftees dying in the rice paddies of Iraq. That's not likely to happen, but the passions and positions of politicians being what they are, it could become more than a joke.


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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.