Jim Henley did a great job of dismissing the so-called “flypaper” theory this weekend. For what it’s worth, the morality aspect is the one that’s offended me:

Finally, there’s a minor matter of morality. Remember all that stuff about how we weren’t at war with the Iraqi people but with Saddam Hussein, or the Ba’ath Party apparatus? Flypaper theory exists to posit and justify a messy war between the US military and non-Iraqi enemies of America and Israel – those infiltrators, remember? Let’s state it again, clearly: the presence of American troops in Iraq draws anti-American and anti-Israeli terrorists to Iraq, where we wipe them out. That is, Flypaper supposedly represents a decision by the US to turn Iraq, a place full of the Iraqi People With Whom We Have No Quarrel, into a theater of war between non-Iraqi forces. The dead, wounded, frightened and humiliated will not, of course, be restricted to non-Iraqis. The stuff that gets broke will not just be non-Iraqi stuff. And we wonder why some Iraqis are so sullen.