Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Where the doublethink goes next

A few years ago whilst discussing politics amongst friends I made a prediction. We were talking about the subject of the Iraq and the "anti-war lobby". I said to them that the problem with the anti-war/ Western/ globalisation/ Israel/ American/ capitalsim lobby (usually people on the Left) was that their argument shift to fit in withtheir "anti" position constantly. Essentially they engage in doublethink whenever the need arises.

Their attitude toward Saddam Hussein is a case in point of this. When Saddam hussein was a Western ally they hated his guts because he was a "Western stooge". They considered him a mad vicious tyrant who oppressed his own people. Shoot forward a handful of years to where Saddam Hussein has become a Western enemy, and all of sudden he is the victim of Western agression and imperialsm, bla blah blah and assorted dishonest claptrap.

As a result of this I made a prediction to my friends about what would happen when Britian and/or America withdrew their military presence from Iraq. As it stands the anti-war lobby blames every problem in Iraq on invasion, and they also continue to play loose and fast with linear extrapolation enabling them to make statements implying we should all feel tremendously guilty about a theorised untestable number that can never actually be shown to be accurate.

So, as rumours abound about possible withdrawal - which is what the anti-war lobby want - where does the doublethink lead to next? Well one thing is for sure, whatever form of words they come up with next it will still all be our fault. That's the way it works you see. Whatever happens in Iraq after we're gone will be - and I have no doubt in my mind about this - traced back to Washington and her "poodle" Britain. If Shias start slaughtering Sunnis it will be our fault, it will have nothing to do with the tribalism that has existed there for years, or a reaction to the dominance of Sunnis under Saddam Hussein.

No. It will be a direct result of the war criminals Bush and Blair, who will, I expect, find themsleves facing yet more pathetically stupid calls for trials of crimes against humanity (along with Israel of course) whilst the same people probably demand some sort of action in Zimbabwe (and then proceed to bleat about how whatever action might occur was wrong because of Western interfence). Dare I say it, I imagine it won't be long before the people currently calling for withdrawal will claim that we abdicated our responsibility by withdrawing. That's about the level of unthinking that this debate generates.

I have to say though, I'm actually quite looking forward to it so I can laugh at them.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely on the button

Barnacle Bill said...

I quite agree with you Dizzy on this point.
Although I believe we had a moral responsibility to put right that which we broke by invading Iraq, and to quit would be a further evasion of those responsibilities.
Unfortunately neither Blair, nor Brown have shown the backbone. Or willingness to put the resources needed into Iraq to get the job done.
So I do not believe any more British service personnel should be sacrificed upon the altar of this failed American venture just for political capital.

Anonymous said...

Too true. We in the West are damned if we do and damned if we don't. How could we have sat idly by and waited for the UN and the rest of the pacifists to wring their hands sufficiently to actually get anything done? It would have taken months. There are too many vested interests - witness China's refusal to sign anything remotely worthwhile when it comes to Sudan.

It required leadership from America and the UK to get rid of Saddam. Of course it was done in a bit of a cack-handed way, but the general principle behind it all is pretty sound. We need to be prepared to show some guts, stand up for freedom, and stick around in Iraq and Afghanistan for a few years yet.

Buenaventura Durruti said...

Sort of half agree with you.
The anti-war argument does wobble - or at least there are a number of differing anti-war arguments and some people cherry-pick to suit the moment.
Also it is ridiculous to blame Bush and Blair for all the problems. Even to extent it to a nebulous imperialistic intervention of the last x decades wouldn't explain Sunni/Shia aggravation.
But what is clear is that Bush/Blair have acted akin to a small boy with a twig and an wasps' nest. To extend the analogy, having poked it there's not a lot of point (but a degree of pain) in trying to fix it. Powell's famous 'if you break it, you own it' dictum is entirely inappropriate in this circumstance: we are part of the problem and not part of the solution. Further attempts to improve the situation will be fustrated by the general Iraqi perception that the clock is already running on the intervention and that 'collaborators' (eg the interpreters) will be abandoned.
Our continued presence - whatever one's position on the original invasion either at the time or in retrospect - will make it harder to fix and lead to more deaths whatever (and this is the hard bit) happens in the short term after our withdrawl/retreat.