RANGER AGAINST WAR: Defeating Separatists a Chimera <

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Defeating Separatists a Chimera

The 3/23/06 Wall Street Journal reports, "Basque separatist group ETA said it will permanently end attacks in a possible response to Spain's offer on talks of greater autonomy." ETA is 45 years old, yet only now is reckoning with the country against which it had campaigned for regional autonomy. This brings to mind the IRA's 30-year campaign against the British, before they too came to the bargaining table in a way which meaningfully addressed their cessation of hostilities.

The point that I'd like to make is that both are home-grown insurgencies, or terrorists, if you will. While both Spain and England have sophisticated police, intelligence and military organizations, and both Spain and Britain are operating on interior lines and have cultural knowledge and common ties with the respective ETA-IRA groups, both countries are making concessions to these groups in order to end their campaigns of violence.

So here is my big question: If Spain and Britain can't defeat basic separatist movements within their historic borders, then how does the US propose to do so in Iraq? Unlike the cases of Spain and Britain, U.S. national security is not threatened by Iraqi separation. America cannot afford the expenditure of our national treasure to defeat insurgents in Iraq, a country not even remotely ours. Even if the insurgents are totally successful in overtaking Iraq, how would that jeopardize U.S. security? Even with WMD they are a negligible national threat. So, what's really the deal?

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