Tuesday, May 04, 2004

All it takes for evil to take root is for good men to do nothing.

I can’t remember who exactly said this, and even if this is the exact quote, but I think it conveys the idea well enough.

Once upon a time, the ‘left’ claimed to be the party of justice and equality for all mankind. A Noble goal. One to be proud of. One which was worthy of the Party of Jefferson. Somewhere along this path, the left has lost its way.

Sometimes, the only solution we can choose is from a list of bad options. Do we continue to allow sanctions to starve a people? Do we allow a thug to continue his megalomaniac Cult of Personality at the expense of 26 million people for the sake of ‘no war’? Do we turn away, knowing that in some ways we may be partially responsible for the continued existence of a monster?

Recently we’ve seen the Kay report, and the latest brouhaha over the Gilligan story about the Blair government alleged ‘sexing up’ of intelligence data about Iraqi WMD. And in the end it is all a Red Herring. Who cares if there was any ricin or anthrax or mustard gas or a nuke or three on the ground (or not as is much more likely)? It has been well and thoroughly established that Hussein was interested in persisting the knowledge base for creating these things until such a point the west gave up on sanctions and no-fly zones; at which point all of his programs would have restarted.

But even that doesn’t matter when it comes to why Hussein needed to be removed. In 1991, Hussein was given an ultimatum by the victorious coalition after his military was expelled from Kuwait.

688 (5 April 1991): Iraq
and then 778 (2 October 1992): Iraq-Kuwait
and again in 949 (15 October 1994): Iraq-Kuwait.
Or perhaps 1060 (12 June 1996): Iraq.
Or how about 1115 (21 June 1997): Iraq-Kuwait.
Or 1194 (9 September 1998): Iraq-Kuwait.

Even worse, none of this captures the deafening silence toward the torture chambers, or the assassination attempt against Bush Sr., or the invasion of Iran, or the gassing of the Kurds, on and on and on.

Is it really so hard to conceptualize that maybe, just maybe 9/11 made us take a long look in the mirror and realize perhaps business as usual was no longer acceptable? That pursuit of the Metternichain status quo in support of anyone who wasn’t communist was no longer a good idea? That just perhaps things change, and policies must change to reflect a new, clearer view of who is and is not a real monster?

One day, my daughter will be old enough to ask me if there are real monsters. And I’ll have to tell her there are. But they only exist because good people overlook them. Or ignore them. ‘It’s not my problem’. Or ‘it’s way over there’. Or no, there are only ‘enablers’ cause it all and they are usually Americans.

I’m angry that people seem to think it is fine and dandy to vilify the evil Americans, because ‘we supported him at one point’. War is wrong. Peace Now!

We did we remove Saddam Hussein? For a father and a daughter. For all the people like them. And so Manhattan will never be a Halabja.

For them


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