The Duty of Solidarity We Owe the Iraqi People
Setting aside all the arguments and lamentations over whether it was right for an Anglo-American alliance to invade Iraq and smash the Baathist state there, the only really important question is: What do we do now?
Ever since the bombs started falling on Baghdad, that's the only question that has really mattered, and it's also the question that the mainstream "anti-war" movement has got wrong, by any standard recognizable in the traditional perspective of the progressive left. "Troops out" offers no effective solidarity with pro-democracy Iraqis, and offers far greater advantage to the "resistance" fighters who behead kafirs, put bombs in mosques and assassinate trade union leaders.
"Troops out" was wrong from the start because, as all the facts now show, it didn't make a difference. It will be the right answer eventually, of course, the way a broken clock is right, twice a day. Canada was right to say no to joining the American-led invasion, given the circumstances. And the hour will come when the circumstances will be right for the Yanks and the others to go home.
But that hour has not yet come. Not according to His Excellency Howar Ziad, anyway. Ziad is the Iraqi Ambassador, a senior adviser to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a brave patriot and a progressive liberal, unapologetically of the left, and his view of the world is the subject of my Tyee column today.
By nine this morning, the nutters were already at it in the comments. My previous Tyee column, the inaugural one, set off almost two weeks of it, non-stop. Turns out I'm a CIA agent, a secret advocate of Dershowitzianism, "evidence of just how deeply the Israel Lobby has infiltrated every aspect of our media" and a former girl named Teri who had a sex change operation who's somehow associated with the Rothschilds and the Bilderbergs. After that you get into favourable nods to Ernst Zundel, some references to the Freemasons and the Illuminati, and then: "The telephone lines are all bugged.The keystrokes are all recorded. We're all on secret lists accompanied by profiles."
Geez. And I was trying to be nice.