Friday, January 28, 2005

In the comments section of this post at Alicublog, someone wrote the following:

I want to know what democrats think about democracy in Iraq. I haven't heard one dem say anything positive about the Iraq elections. I thought the party embraced freedom from oppression and loathed dictatorships. Oh, that's right, Bush is to thank for these elections. My dem would dare admit that this is a good thing because they are all partisan wacks who are still too busy crying over the elections to get their heads out of their asses long enough to notice that a significant world event is on the horizon, which will bring hope and freedom to millions and change the face of the middle east.

OK. To start with, I'm an American -- I care about what happens to America; I also care about global consequences of what America does. That's what I was thinking about as the Iraq War approached. If conservatives are honest, they'll admit that, in their way, that's what most of them were thinking about in 2002 and 2003. They might have believed Paul Wolfowitz's "reverse domino" theory, but the possibility of democratizing Iraq was a side benefit even to right-wingers. I thought the war would be a jihadi-breeding machine and a likely destabilizer of the region; they thought an attack on Iraq was the way to head off a possible (likely?) nuclear 9/11 aimed at America or one of our allies. It was only as the WMDs failed to materialize that democratization became, retroactively, a principal reason for the war.

Now it's all about the plebiscite. It's all about making Iraq free. And my lefty friends and I aren't with the program.

Except that we're not the ones who voted for the guy who gave a Medal of Freedom to Paul "Disband the Army" Bremer and who's promoting Alberto "Torture Memo" Gonzales. Why is Iraq so violent -- what generated the rage that made it too dangerous for many Iraqis to leave the house, much less vote? Ask those guys -- and ask their boss.

You right-wingers voted for their boss. How does that make you a friend of Iraqi democracy?

And we're not the ones who voted for the president who hired Donald Rumsfeld, kept him in office for four years, and just agreed to let him re-up for four more. Rumsfeld's the guy who's maintained the bonsai philosophy of troop deployment in Iraq: Do not, under any circumstances, let the force grow to full size. That's why there were never enough troops to secure the weapons caches, never enough troops to secure the borders -- never enough troops, in other words, to ensure that Iraqis can now vote without dying.

You endorsed that policy, right-wingers. You continue to endorse it. How does that make you a friend of Iraqi democracy?

On Sunday there'll be a vote of some kind. It will be followed, in all likelihood, by more chaos. I'd love to cheer on the theory of Sunday, but I'm more focused on what's actually going to happen.

It's this reality fixation -- we lefties just can't shake it.

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