FLYPAPER ON THE WALL
The “flypaper” theory is apparently becoming the Conventional Wisdom even though I’ve scarcely heard of it. It was mentioned, albeit not by name, in the Ralph Peters piece I linked yesterday. Basically, it asserts that we’re trying to lure all the terrorists from around the region into Iraq so that we can kill them more efficiently. While I’m all for efficiency–and killing terrorists, for that matter–this thesis is rather shaky.
Daniel Drezner notes that the goal in Iraq is–or at least should be–the opposite of a terrorist magnet:
In terms of the broader neocon vision of transforming the Middle East, Iraq needs to be an oasis of stability, not a grand opening for Terrorists ‘R Us. [But what about Josh Marshall’s theory that the neocons want greater instability as an excuse for greater U.S. intervention?–ed. If Marshall was correct, then the last thing the administration would want if for destabilizing elements to leave their home countries and go to Iraq. That would make it harder, not easier, to justify U.S. incursions elsewhere in the region.]
Furthermore, were I a terrorist, I would blow stuff up in places other than those guarded by bored, irritable American soldiers who would rather do something other than hang out where it’s 110 degrees and the women are off limits. But that’s just me.