The war in Iraq was based on the conventional premise that no great power can afford to have its will flouted – flagrantly, abusively, and indefinitely – by a small power. To do so invites further challenges from other small powers, challenges that together combine to form a big challenge.
Before this war in Iraq started, I sent some emails around describing the rise of the first truly postmodern war, in the sense that there was no clear and compelling reason for the war, and, depending on who you asked, you could get any number of different rationales (whatever the particular ideological encampment seemingly wanted to believe - for or against the war).
Even now, there is very little clarity anywhere about exactly why we went to war with Iraq, whether it was due to their being a threat of some sort or the launching pad for a democratic transformation in the Middle East.
During this time before the war, however, and since it's begun, I've yet to hear the rationale for the war in Iraq as stated above - "no great power can afford to have its will flouted...". That it should be stated so matter-of-factly, as if not even a question that has been debated ad nauseum absurdum, just struck me as strange, and almost Twilight Zone-ish.
I don't think Americans would have been, or would be now, supportive of the war as premised by the rationale given above. To my knowledge, not even PNAC dares suggest such a thing.
As a student of propaganda, therefore, and also a denizen of the blogosphere and Internet news, I'm realizing that there's still some information I may be missing, that's being reported, and I definitely need to start paying more attention to the major newspapers around the world that are not in the West.
I'm going to start by keeping closer tabs on the Jerusalem Post.