Thursday, February 08, 2007
Unusually despicable commentary from the Plank
TNR was once thought to be a journal of intellectual liberals and centrists. This post is astnoishingly stupid and conservative/nationalist. Let's count just a few of the ways.
It is not the United States that founded this millennial hatred; it is not the United States that arms and equips Sunni death squads; it is not the United States that supports Iranian backing of Shia factions in Iraq. As Hitchens writes, we had a "rendezvous in Mespotamia that could not have been averted."
(1) Invading was not the only way to resolve the humanitarian crisis and WMD issue in 2003.
The inspectors left because we started bombing. There was no historical inevitability to bombing in March 2003.
As to the sanctions, changing the regime to lessen its impact on the Iraqi people was a cause of some small left-leaning groups. They were mostly ignored, until people like Kirchick realized they were a useful talking point in advocating an invasion of Iraq-- not that invading was in any way calculated or intended to improve the lives of Iraqis. We the invaders certainly hoped that Iraqis' lives would be improved, but there was no planning or preparation, or even acknowledgement of what might be involved, to advance that hope. If the war planners' good intentions can be assumed, certainly the maxim about intentions of that sort has been proven in Iraq.
(2) Once we invaded, we failed to provide basic security.
Try removing all services and law enforcement from New York or DC for a week or four years or so. Would there be violence based on racial animus? (Hint: Yes). Would that violence be traceable in some sense to historical conflicts? (Clue: Yes). Would it have been inevitable? (A: No. It would be due to the absence of a government, which causes people to turn to clannish groups to try to survive).
Full disclosure: I supported the invasion of Iraq.