Opponents of the US invasion of Iraq better brace themselves, for it's beginning to look like it's going to be demonstrated that they are wrong---not about the prudence of the invasion or the case the government made for its necessity---but about both the morality and the practicality of defeating the insurgency. The US and its Iraqi allies in that civil war seem to be gradually getting the upper hand on the murderous insurgency. Those of us who hope the US is successful in Iraq---evidently a minority here in Progressive Land---have an unexpected ally in Ian McEwan, the English novelist. In the March 28 New York Observer, McEwan shared his thoughts with Adam Begley:
The occupation was a mess. An administration that never really believed in the power of the state was in a position of having to invent a state halfway around the world...I was sort of heartened by the elections. One of the most distasteful aspects of some corners of the left here---and I'm told it's true in the states, too---is that they are cheering on the insurgency. They would rather that democracy in Iraq fail than that Bush succeed, which is either deeply cynical or amazingly parochial politics. I don't give a toss about what happens to Bush's reputation, but I do care that there should be stability in Iraq. I want him to succeed.
Well put, and, yes, there are a lot of progressives in this country that hope the US fails in Iraq. If only for the welfare of the long-suffering Iraqi people, we should hope that the despicable insurgency is defeated. Still, McEwan has no illusions about the president's intellectual acumen: "When he talks, I have to remind myself that just because he's saying it doesn't mean it isn't true."
Granted that the president is no intellectual and that he seems almost chronically in over his head. But since when have intellectuals had a monopoly on the truth? Since never. In any event, it looks like President Bush is right and almost everyone else---including the sainted Noam Chomsky---is wrong about the Middle East: The occupation of Iraq, which, while much more difficult and costly than expected, is beginning to gain traction with the Iraqi people, as they inch their way toward a funtional democracy. And the democracy bug seems to be catching in the Middle East: Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Palestinians have all moved in that direction in recent months. Historically, who is going to get credit for this? The annoying, smirking rube from Texas, the born-again Christian and right-wing president.
Labels: Iraq, Right and Left