Yes, the Iraq turmoil often resembles a civil war, which was of course the goal of al-Qaida’s attacks on Shiite mosques and civilians. And, yes, the Iraqi leadership has failed to make the compromises vital to hopes of political reconciliation and failed to build security forces strong and competent enough to shoulder a fair share of the burden of the fight.
But none of these nuances, analyses and complications will matter a wit with the Islamist radicals or with the rest of the Islamic world watching this conflict between modern Western values and 7th century fundamentalism. ~Steven Huntley
In other words, Huntley concedes almost everything critics of the war have been saying about the reality of the situation and feels satisfied striking a pose all the same. One other thing: we are pretty clearly not seeing a “conflict between Western values and 7th century fundamentalism.” All the time war supporters talk about the 7th century. They have never studied the 7th century. They don’t know Constantine IV from Constantine Porphyrogennitos, but they are going to tell us about “7th century fundamentalism.” This is ridiculous. If the conflict were between Western values and “7th century fundamentalism,” Western values would win without a fight, because 7th century fundamentalists, if they ever existed, are all dead. The problem, obviously, is with 21st century fundamentalists. If war supporters cannot get even these small things right, why should we trust them to understand weightier matters?