Commentary of the Day

CK MacLeod, on Abe Greenwald:

Had the Taliban surrendered bin laden and had Saddam disarmed, both would still be in power today (in fact, one still kinda is)…

Actually, you don’t know that to be true at all. What you mean to say is that, if the Taliban and Saddam had knuckled under to non-negotiable demands from the US and its allies, then there wouldn’t have had to be any fighting. If they had been capable of acting upon our ideas about their and their theoretical constituents’ interests, however, they wouldn’t have gotten into trouble in the first place. Whether organizations or regimes built around cults of defiance can survive in the aftermath of surrender – at least without undergoing transformations that turn them into something different, under whatever name – is another question. The Taliban and Saddam preferred to fight.