Monday, October 23, 2006

Crocodile Sneers

[posted by Callimachus]

After mocking Bush's "staying the course" rhetoric as "nonsensical," this Guardian leader comes perilously close to admitting it can find no alternative to it. It considers all the unappealing alternatives put forth for Iraq and the only advice it can manage is, "fire Rumsfeld." Thanks for the tip, guys. Never would have thought of that on our own.

But the editors hit on exactly what disgusts me about the current U.S. political debate over Iraq, on both sides of the aisle:

There is something profoundly selfish - arrogant even - about America's Iraq debate, though it is about 2,700 dead and many thousands of wounded as well as the prestige of the world's only superpower. But this is not just about geopolitics. Whether or not this war is America's Vietnam for the 21st century, Iraq is first and foremost about Iraqis. The Americans will be gone, sooner or later - and we will hear more about that after November 7. It is the Iraqis who will be left to pick up the pieces.

Yes. Don't forget that. Oh, of course, somewhere in the bottom third of whatever speech we're getting we'll be told that whatever the speaker proposes is the only sure way to end the violence in Iraq. But that's almost an afterthought, and the speakers never bother to demonstrate how this will be so, or why other alternatives must fail to do so. And we don't care enough to ask them to prove it.

Neither does the Guardian, when you come right down to it. In considering America's role in the world it once again marches down the well-trodden track of the Euro-elite intellectual class and eloquently scolds Americans for whatever it is Americans are doing right now. Pat self on back, go down to local and have a pint, sleep it off, get up tomorrow and write another one.

Which perhaps will splash just a bit of cold water on those of us who are all wrung out over the fiction that America has "squandered the good will of the world" and that they'll stop kicking us if only we elect more Democrats and bring all the troops home right now.