Shorter Christopher Hitchens:
If the Iraq War ultimately fails, it's American liberals' fault for not cleaning up the mess my hero George W. Bush made.
Does that get across what's so offensive about Hitchens's article? Let me try again:
You should happily give your tax dollars -- and your sons and daughters -- to fight Bush's war in Iraq, then you should hold bake sales to correct all the things Bush screws up.
Yeah -- bake sales for secularism. That's essentially what Hitchens is recommending:
The New York Times ran a fascinating report (subscription only), under the byline of James Glanz, on July 8. It was a profile of Dr. Alaa Tamimi, the mayor of Baghdad, whose position it would be a gross understatement to describe as "embattled." ... He is one among millions who could emerge if it were not for the endless, pitiless torture to which the city is subjected by violent religious fascists....
Question: Why have several large American cities not already announced that they are going to become sister cities with Baghdad and help raise money and awareness to aid Dr. Tamimi? ...
Here's the article Hitchens cites. Among other things, it tells us this:
Despite Dr. Tamimi's protestations over the budget, his problems go well beyond a lack of money.
The city he governs is so treacherous that when he does business outside the municipal building, he tries not to tell anyone where he is going and shows up unannounced, staying in one spot no longer than 20 to 30 minutes. As if to drive home the point, his director general of sewage was assassinated six weeks ago.
Yeah -- a couple of charity auctions in Berkeley or Madison ought to fix that problem right up.
Hitchens also tells us that without Bush's war in Iraq the country would have seen "opportunistic interventions from Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia." (Oh, gosh, intervention from other countries -- thank goodness nothing like that can happen now.) Then he tells us we should "underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East." And, er, helping the Kurds become independent isn't going to attract an "opportunistic intervention" from Turkey?
Poor Hitch. He can't face the truth -- that a war to remove Saddam was inevitably going to have unpleasant consequences, and an Iraq war run by the self-satisfied stumblebums of the Bush administration would inevitably have even worse consequences than necessary. But now things are bad, and somebody must be at fault. All too predictably, Hitchens's instinct is to shift the blame and protect Daddy.