Monday, March 08, 2010

Verdict On Iraq

I seldom read The New Republic, only when I’ve read references to an article and feel the need to go read the article itself. I usually feel the need for a shower afterwards, or at least washing my eyeballs out with soap, but before commenting on an article such journalistic integrity as I may pretend to have requires that I first actually read the damned thing. I read it, the saying goes, so that you don’t have to.

Anyway, one Marty Peretz, whom you don’t want to know anything about, wrote a piece in what would be called “that rag” if it were print medium rather than on the Internet titled, “Sorry, But The Verdict Is In On The Long American Excursion In Iraq. And It Is Favorable.” The article itself is as long-winded and execrable as the title. And by “Excursion,” of course, he means “War” or, perhaps, “Exercise in Death and Destruction.”

He does have some small reservation, "Of course, Iraq hasn’t turned out that well," in that, "Sunni jihadniks are still routinely murdering pious Shi’a on pilgrimage to Karbala." He finishes that little gem with, "Still..." letting the ellipsis indicate that he isn't going to let a minor detail like the routine murdering of "pious Shi’a" detract from his "favorable verdict" on the wonderous thing we have accomplished in Iraq.

Click here to read it, but don’t do so right after lunch. I usually link the post title in these cases, but… I mean, really, look at that damn title. Anyway, his lengthy screed can be summed up in three “especially compelling personal testimonies”; which I will summarize for you, following each of them with my thoughts on the validity of his horse manure analysis.

 The last “testimony,” which he discusses first for some reason and which might reveal the validity of his logical thinking ability, comes from none other than Gordon Brown, who visited Iraq and says to this day that we did a good thing for the right reason. Brown even says so, Peretz points out, in nothing less than the New York Times.

Well, la di da. George Bush, and Dick Cheney along with his lovely daughter also say we did the right thing for the right reasons, and they say it in the New York Times, too. It doesn’t seem to occur to the illustrious Peretz that there might be some ass covering going on here, including by the New York Times.

I’d like to point out that Scott Roeder, the guy who murdered George Tiller while he was praying in church, also maintains that he did the right thing for the right reason. I do believe his ass is rotting in prison at the moment.

 The second “testimony” comes from Tom Ricks who wrote a book entitled Fiasco about how badly we bungled the invasion of Iraq. The book made a hero out of Tommy Franks and, especially, David Petraeus, and he has been close buddies with Army high command ever since, so those of us with functional brains take his pronouncements with a grain of salt. Peretz, of course, does not fall into that category so… Tom Ricks says that we need to keep between 30,000 and 50,000 troops in Iraq for many years.

Anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature would see that as definitive proof that invading Iraq was a boneheaded idea of the first water so, of course, Peretz cites it as proof that the invasion was a good idea.

Unless there is something about tying up a significant portion of our fighting forces and spending billions of dollars in ways that contribute nothing whatever to the American people that is beneficial in a way that I have missed. Ricks is having fun over there and making a lot of money, so maybe he thinks that all of our “troops” are doing so as well.

 The third “testimony” is a bit vague, but boils down to “we got rid of the Ba’ath party,” much the way we got rid of the Nazis after World War Two.

Here we go with the Nazis again, the right loves to talk about the Nazis, but we did not face the kind of ethnic and religious divisions in Germany that exist in Iraq, and people who have lived and worked in Iraq are considerably less than sanguine about the prospects for peaceful government in that nation; witness Ricks saying we need thousands of troops there for many years to prevent civil war. So much for the wonderful government we installed. Daniel Larison phrased it very well when he said,

I suppose there is some kind of brutish justice to having the oppressed assume the role of the oppressors, but it is hardly noble.

Yeah, for me at the very best the verdict on Iraq just might boil down to “brutish justice.” It certainly would not be anything like “favorable.”

1 comment:

bruce said...

"I do believe his ass is rotting in prison at the moment..."

I belive something else is happening to it, the only rotting is becasue it's being turned inside out by his fellow prisoners.

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