Martin Whitlock - political writings 2001-2004

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The fallacy of "win-win"

5 July 2004

Whether a society can be built in Iraq that works both for the Iraqis and the U.S. must be doubtful, to put it mildly. One side or other is likely to be disappointed.


Abuse, but in good faith

10 May 2004

Politicians who wring their hands at the abuse practised by their forces in Iraq should remember where the abuse started - with a false prospectus for war created out of spinning and deception.

The old realities of history

19 April 2004

The endorsement by George Bush of Ariel Sharon's self-serving plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip while retaining substantial sections of the West Bank is pure politics and will have little if any influence on whatever settlement is eventually reached in that region.

Fanatically opposed to fanatics

12 April 2004

The coalition is just as inflexible as its opponents about the political outcome it is willing to allow in Iraq. But, if it wants peace, it is going to have to learn to let go.

Dangerous language

10 November 2003

The term "anti-Semitism" has a uniquely powerful association that is both useful and dangerous for those who support the policy of the Israeli government.

When politics is the art of the counter-intuitive

9 June 2003

If peace is to come in the Israel-Palestine conflict the Israelis are going to have to keep on giving, and only the Americans can make them. Bush had better be up for it, because it's a stance that only a right-wing administration can hope to sustain.

Even Osama Bin Laden has a point

19 May 2003

Suicide bombers have big commitment to their cause. That's why they do it. Their terrorists acts do not invalidate the cause, they merely push it up the agenda. That's why, when the cause is popular, terrorism often works.

Fools rush in: or is Blair on the side of the angels?

14 April 2003

It must, as we noted last week, be galling for Tony Blair that his humanitarian agenda for war in Iraq has no justification in international law. Fortunately, provided it works for the Iraqis, that won't matter. But will it work? And how to make it?

Logic? What logic?

7 April 2003

We hear a good deal about the logic of war, but before making a decision it helps to work out what problem you are trying to solve. When decision-makers act instinctively, for a jumble of reasons, it may be possible to work backwards from the decision to uncover the true objective. Might this process shed light on the war in Iraq?

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