Saturday, June 19, 2004
If you know of a livelier, wider-ranging, more informative discussion of the whole Iraq mess than this Pepe Escobar interview with Juan Cole, please send us the link immediately. There's so much good stuff here that you could pluck out a choice excerpt more or less at random -- which is exactly what we're about to do:
ATol: Do you detect any Iraq policy at all from the Kerry side?
JC: Well, he says he wants to internationalize, and the real question is whether it's not too late. If Kerry is elected in November and he goes back to France and Germany and says, "OK, it's a new ball game, won't you come in with me?" are the French and German governments really going to be eager to send their troops? By then also, as the Sistani fatwa makes clear, all traces of the occupation should have been erased. There may be a building demand from the Iraqi side that foreigners just get out of their country. So Kerry's internationalization will not even be welcomed in Iraq by that point. The question is: has Bush ruined the situation beyond repair so that Kerry's policy is difficult to implement?
ATol: What would you say?
JC: I think it is very difficult for Kerry to have his policy implemented.
ATol: Finally: Will Osama be captured next October?
JC: If the Bush administration knew how to capture Osama, he would have been captured. If they could do it now, they would do it. It would become a campaign slogan. They don't have good intelligence, and even the Pakistanis don't have good intelligence. So I don't think there will be an October surprise.