Sunday, January 30, 2005

I see from the latest column on Iraq by "liberal hawk" Michael Ignatieff (published in The Observer and The New York Times Magazine) that once again he wants us to bend over and be spanked:

Just as depressing as the violence in Iraq is the indifference to it abroad. Americans and Europeans who have never lifted a finger to defend their own right to vote seem not to care that Iraqis are dying for the right to choose their own leaders.

Why do so few people feel even a tremor of indignation when they see poll workers gunned down?

Indignation? Excuse me, Michael: At whom should we direct it? Since the "postwar" looting began, many of us have relentlessly denounced the Bush administration for dozens of blunders that led to an ongoing bloodbath in a nation Bush had the moral and legal responsibility to secure. We worked for his defeat and voted in large numbers for a man who quite properly attacked him as incapable of leading Iraq to a secure peace. And yet the American electorate, in returning Bush to office, endorsed Bush's incompetence.

Candidates were gunned down before the elections? We did what we could.

Anti-war ideologues can't support the Iraqis because that would require admitting that positive outcomes can result from bad policies.

How would we have "supported the Iraqis" in the weeks leading up to the election? By cheerleading? Rah-rah, good show! You guys really have guts! Way to go! And this would have accomplished what?

Other experts tell us how "basically" violent Iraqi society is, as a way of explaining why insurgency has taken root. A more subtle kind of condescension claims that Iraq has been scarred by Ba'athism and cannot produce free minds.

Who are these experts? I haven't read them or paid any heed to them. Insurgency has taken root because the inept U.S. occupation permitted a looting free-for-all, promised far more nation-building than it was able to deliver, disbanded the army, tortured the prisoners, and did everything it could to cultivate an insurgency short of handing out explosives to the disaffected.

...Already the revisionists are working over the facts: the best way to write the history in advance is to shift the blame onto the Iraqis themselves. Those who opposed the war collude with this revisionism in advance by giving up on the Iraqis and this, their only chance of freedom.

Who on earth is Ignatieff talking about? Who has been doing this shifting of blame to the Iraqis? And in what way did those of us who opposed the war -- "colluding" with people we can't even identify -- "give up on the Iraqis"? I didn't tell Iraqis not to vote -- and if I had, why should it have made a goddamn bit of difference to any Iraqi?

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