Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Virulent racism as a military strategy, pt. II

via Matt, we see that the pro-war crowd is now arguing, yes, that Iraqi's aren't capable of governing themselves democratically. Lest you think I'm being too harsh:
This really isn't our failure. The failure is on the part of the Iraqis. They had this one great chance - bought with American and allied blood - to build a rule-of-law democracy in the Arab world. They appear determined to throw that chance away, preferring to wallow in old hatreds, vengeance, corruption and the tyranny of fear....

What has become of our dreams for democracy when today's Iraqi police are worse than Saddam's and the most humane possibility for the country is a military government? The answer is that Arab civilization has revealed itself as a catastrophic failure.
There's also some sloppy love for the Kurds, meaning I guess that Ralph Peters is in the "pro-dead Turkish soldier" camp. (Unfair? Maybe, but Peters' column explicitly calls Kurdistan a "model state". Iraqi Kurds have launched attacks on Turkish forces across the border. You tell me what Peters means.)

Ignoring for a moment the fact that we have ample evidence of the Americans actually subverting Iraqi attempts at self-governance, this really is an astonishing turn in warmongering rhetoric. Recall, if you will, that people who warned of the dangers of sectarian violence in postwar Iraq were explicitly slandered as racists who "didn't believe the Arabs were capable of democracy."

Of course, those of us skeptical of the Afghanistan mission have also been slandered as anti-woman because we so obviously want the return of the Burqa.

A piece of advice for my friends on the left: If you hate right-wingers lecturing you about principles, don't worry - just wait five minutes for their principles to change.

3 comments:

Berlynn said...

Of course, those of us skeptical of the Afghanistan mission have also been slandered as anti-woman because we so obviously want the return of the Burqa.

It drives me wild that we sent in a bunch of men with guns to free women and educate girls. Like a wise woman has already said, "Since when is the Canadian military a mainline feminist organization."

Olaf said...

John,

Couple of thoughts:

Ignoring for a moment the fact that we have ample evidence of the Americans actually subverting Iraqi attempts at self-governance

I hadn't heard this, can you give me a link or two for my own interest.

Secondly, while perhaps none of the violence would have been set in motion without the invasion, and Iraqi's would have instead had to deal with Hussein's monopoly on violence (which he wasn't shy to use), I have a hard time blaming the US everytime a Sunni militia blows up a Shi'a mosque.

I think that the Iraqi's as a whole, although put in a horrible position, have a lot of responsibility in the way the country has turned out. I fear that if we blame the US for EVERYTHING that has gone wrong (although they were the first mover, so to speak), we risk absolving the militias - who are as intent on killing other Iraqi's as they are subverting the Iraq government and killing US soldiers - of any responsibility in the carnage.

Many seem to make an argument that "we told the US that if they took out Saddam, it would provoke a civil war", as if the Sunni's and Shi'as had no free will in the matter, and would necessarily turn to sectarian violence against each other. Even if they were right in their prediction, it doesn't mean that Sunni's and Shi'as couldn't have chosen peaceful means of dealing with power sharing. It's not the US fault that Sunni and Shi'a militias have engaged in a civil war, even if the US did provide the circumstances for its realization.

This is like blaming the government for releasing a violent criminal who has served his time and then reoffends, and holding the government responsible. It is the reoffenders direct responsibility, even if the government didn't do enough to prevent it. A bit of a flawed analogy, but simply, it's the people killing who are most directly at fault, not those who mistakenly provided the circumstances which allowed it.

The language of the column is clearly backwards, but I think blaming many Iraqi's for how they've dealt with the "freedom" to attack those different from them is not out of line.

Also, easy on the slandering the right wing in general... I don't have many principles and thus can't be accused of shifting them.

And finally, Andrew Coyne makes an interesting point in his most recent column - worth a read.

auntiegrav said...

Anyone looking for an understanding of how the U.S. is to blame for the Iraq fiasco only has to read "Armed Madhouse" by Greg Palast.

The rape of Iraq took place in it's setup and transitional government. The current situation is long after what caused it; the removal of dignity and freedom to act took place when Bremer installed the Corporate structure under the supervision of the NeoCons.
Iraqi's (the ones we didn't kill in the two wars) may not be formally educated, but they aren't stupid. They know what was done to their future. The ones that WERE formally educated worked for the oil companies, and they are out of a job as long as Saudi Arabia calls the shots in the U.S. view of Iraq's production plans.