Thursday, March 29, 2007


[posted by Callimachus]

Another example, if you needed one. Apparently Bush quoted from the Iraq the Model blog, one of the first and most consistent English-language Iraqi blogs. I've read it almost from its inception, and the brothers (originally three, now two) who run it are honest, hard-working men who risk their lives to do what they do.

But simply being quoted by Bush is enough to earn you the hatred and contempt of a great many Americans who live in comfortable ignorance.

Judith at Keshertalk has been one of ITM's staunchest supporters and defenders over the years (this has happened before, notably in a truly ugly Juan Cole moment).

If Bush advocates it, it must be tainted or false. If a person of a leftist-approved "oppressed group" (dark-skinned, poor, in a part of the world ruled at some point by Western powers) is optimistic or approves the efforts of our government (however flawed they may be), they must work for the CIA. Or be deluded, needing instruction from smug white Americans.

I'm glad people like Judith are out there running the picks. But the brothers can speak for themselves. And here they do:

Second I would like to make clear one point to bloggers like dailykos and some MSM supported blogs who seem so upset for some reason that the voice of some Iraqis is being heard.

I've seen some of them publish stories full of lies and accusations they can't support and I think it's pathetic to throw the "you're a sold-out propaganda" accusation at people just because they don't share the same point of view…This only reflects their lack of knowledge and the bankruptcy of ideas they suffer.

We speak the language of facts, supported by images and statistics and more important, we live here while they don't. We write about the good days as well as the bad days in Iraq's journey to a better future.

You don't even have to search in this blog's archives, just scroll down this page and you'll see both good and bad news—we witness an explosion and we write about it and we see progress and we write about it.

If they can't see that it's their problem, not ours.

Except it's not a problem; it's a willful choice to keep the world pathetically simple.

More things that don't get seen include the evolution of Iraqi Kurdistan. But our friend Michael J. Totten sees them and tells the story, with pictures.

Kurdistan is safe even without its anti-terrorist trench, and that’s not because it is protected by American soldiers. Only 50 or so troops remain in this part of Iraq. There is no anti-American insurgency (because there is virtually no anti-Americanism) and there is no terrorism. If the Arab Iraqis were as peaceable as the Kurds, the American military could have folded its tents a long time ago.

Iraqi Kurdistan is technically occupied by a foreign power, but this occupation surely ranks among one of the most absurd in human history. Dr. Ali Sindi, advisor to Prime Minister Nechervan Barzani, told me that South Korea is the official occupier of “Northern Iraq.” Korean soldiers are stationed just outside Erbil in a base near the airport. He laughed when he told me the Kurdish military, the Peshmerga (“those who face death”), surround the South Koreans to make sure they’re safe.

Every couple of weeks another government somewhere in the world drops their travel advisory for Iraqi Kuridstan. The regional government sends me an email every time it happens. It is always seen as yet another milestone passed on the road to independence from Baghdad. Not only is Kurdistan recognized as separate from Iraq, it is also recognized as different from Iraq. Iraq is dangerous, but the north really isn’t.

Why doesn't Kurdistan register on the anti-war left (or in the media)? I suppose because it doesn't fit the narrative, which is all failure, all the time. But it's not just the success of the U.S. invasion and occupation in that 20% of the country that is outside the lines in the anti-war coloring book. By the logic of the anti-war movement, the Kurds, who have been callously betrayed by America, and who suffered directly and horribly under Saddam during the period when he was our client in the region, are perfectly justified in their determination to destroy the United States and attack it wherever it shows its face in their corner of the world.

Except they have no such determination. Which means there must be something wrong with them. Right?

Good news seldom feels like good news nowadays. I wrote before the Iraq invation it would be 20 years before we knew if this was a good idea or not. But the howling chorus of anti-war doom pronounced it a quagmire at week one and a death total that matched a Civil War skirmish was a "grim milestone."

My newspaper was blaring headlines like "Iraqi Violence Spirals Out of Control" in the spring of 2004, when things were relatively calm there, compared to what came after. The first batch of Abu Ghraib photos (panties on the head, etc.) were described in the AP articles as "horrific." You don't have to be a seer to imagine the range of violence, or horror, possible in such circumstances, and to see that if you pull out your heavy arsenal vocabulary at this level, you've got no words left if it gets truly violent or horrible.

But sometimes there are more important things to do. Like undermine a president you loathe, even if 24 million + 140,000 inconvenient truths hang in the balance.

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