Why are we stuck for some time

interview: "Now we're all stuck"


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THE TIME: What does the destruction of Fallujah mean for the war on terror?

Paul Wilkinson: Fallujah makes it clear that stability and security in Iraq cannot under any circumstances be achieved with purely military methods. The rebels are able to withstand the harshest repression. And terrorism, which is not necessarily part of the resistance of the old Ba'ath regime, but pursues completely different goals, is flourishing in the increasingly tense and increasingly violent situation. In principle, I am of the opinion that negotiations and diplomacy should have been relied on as long as they could achieve reasonable results. The use of force should only ever be a last resort. The violence in Fallujah could have been prevented or at least mitigated if political means had been used. Fallujah was completely mishandled.

TIME: Do you differentiate between rebels and terrorists?

Wilkinson: In my opinion, the rebels are nationalists who want to create an independent Iraq free from foreign occupation. It was and is probably still possible to convince many of them that their interests can be satisfactorily pursued under the new government.

TIME: And the terrorists?

Wilkinson: Al-Qaeda cannot be converted. No negotiation, no discussion would lead to anything. Al-Qaeda aims to completely destroy democracy. In Iraq, the organization is trying to gain control over large parts of the country. You can only use force against these people.