An arrest warrant has been put out for a cleric inciting violent protests in Iraq against U.S. forces. And should he be “arrested,” his followers have promised to fight back.
Some might call this another instance of aggravation in the area–that we’re, in a sense, angering the insurgents by challenging them and meddling in their affairs. However, this is a laughable conclusion.
After all, the insurgents have already vowed to wage guerrilla war against U.S. and coalition troops in the region, and how any attempt to capture one of their leaders incites them to further violence–violence they have already engaged in–is indeed confusing.
One confused Reuters reporter put it this way:
“The announcement was likely to stir fresh fury among Sadr’s thousands of supporters who have shown their opposition to America’s postwar plans for Iraq in armed demonstrations over the past few days,” he wrote.
It’s simple. The insurgents have already challenged American presence in the area, and no act on the part of U.S. forces will change their minds one way or the other. Were we to leave tomorrow, we would still be hated. Maybe it’s because of our freedom-loving ways. Or our overwhelming dominance in the global scheme of things. Or shoring up stability in the area. We’re not liked.
But leaving is not the answer. We must stick up for the Iraqi people and not bow down to anti-American sentiment of a few Iraqi regions. Indeed, the support among Iraqis is there.
Now it’s up to us to not let them down as Bush 41 did following the Gulf War. They can attain freedom from the more radical elements of their society. But for now, they’re going to need our help.