WILLIAM SHAWCROSS: Peace is not the answer:
IT SEEMS UNLIKELY that many of the so-called peace marchers who trooped through Washington and London two weekends back listened on Thursday — at least not with an open mind or sympathy — to George Bush’s cogent explanation of why coalition troops are fighting and dying in Iraq.
You did not see in those demonstrations, after all, many banners reading, “Support Iraq’s New Constitution,” “No to Jihad” or “Stop Suicide Bombers.” The crimes committed daily against the Iraqi people by other Arabs who wish to re-enslave them seem to be of little interest to Michael Moore, Jane Fonda and their followers. Rage against the daily assaults on children, women, anyone, by Islamo-fascists and ordinary national fascists is not fashionable. Only alleged American crimes are cool to decry. . . .
The sacrifice of U.S. soldiers, of their coalition allies and of Iraqis is horrifically painful. But if we can stay long enough to enable the Iraqis to lay the firm foundation of civil society, their deaths will not be in vain. We should leave when the elected Iraqi government asks us to do so.
It is the promise of freedom that the fascists who murdered the Iraqi teachers last month want to destroy. It is astonishing and discouraging that those who think they were taking the high ground in marching though Washington do not understand this.
Indeed. Michael Barone observes:
I am struck by the sublime indifference of most critics of Bush’s Iraq policy to the fate of the Iraqi people. They are totally unexultant about the overthrow of a vicious dictatorship and seem to have no interest at all in what would happen to Iraqis if we leave suddenly. Hitchens has argued persuasively that no one deserves the label of liberal who is so indifferent to whether others live in freedom or under tyranny.
Will Collier observes:
I don’t understand why anybody as knowledgeable as Barone would be at all surprised. The western Left didn’t give a tinker’s damn for the fates of the Iranians, Lebanese, Nicaraguans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Koreans, Cubans, Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, or even Russians, so long as the eeeevil American right-wingers were dealt a political defeat (and let’s not even start on Israelis).
Why should anybody be surprised thay they could now care less about Iraqis?
Good point. Judging from the size of this protest, which I saw at the University this morning on the way home from the studio, most people aren’t fooled.