Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Okay, Glenn Greenwald, Why don't you actually go and visit Iraq sometime?

At the risk of venturing too far into politics on what should be a blog dealing in Mostly Movies, I thought I would point out this post from Jeffrey Goldberg in which he relates a conversation with the PM of Iraqi Kurdistan about the fact that Glenn Greenwald of Salon believes the Iraq invasion was criminally inexcusable.
The prime minister said we could invite Kurds from different political parties and media outlets to a big, public forum, and Glenn could explain to them his position that the invasion was immoral, and the Kurds could explain why they supported the invasion. (Of course, we would try to find some Kurds who opposed the invasion, and there are, indeed, some out there, to meet with Greenwald as well). We would also be able to visit Halabja, and the other towns and villages affected by Saddam's genocide, and I'm sure we could arrange meetings with other Kurdish leaders and dissidents.
I think this is such an important part of the conversation that is too often left out of the Iraq War discussion. People get so bogged down in the WMD meme that they forget that was not actually the casus belli, even if the Bush administration made a minor fiasco of making clear what the casus belli actually was. Not enough people mention the net positive result of the war which is that the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein was removed from power and the Iraqi people now have the potential to self-govern.

The poor job we've done there does not affirm the anti-war movement's personal vanity in which they asserted their moral superiority by shouting slogans like "killing is wrong", "war is bad" and "Bush is the real terrorist." Most of the anti-war movement was, like Greenwald, taking a very complex situation and trying to boil it down to moral absolutes.


  1. Weren't you and I having this same argument in 2002? :)

  2. Yes, probably, but the point is that while loads of people keep pointing to the negatives of the Iraq War and the lack of WMD (completely ignoring the fact that the actual casus belli was the repeated violation of UN Resolutions and WMD was simply used by the Bush administration to coax other leaders into joining the coalition), the net positives of the war are being ignored repeatedly. If I were a Kurd, I'd certainly like to have words with the pundits in the US who were morally opposed to the war. Guys like Greenwald form their opinions based on vanity, not on facts and geopolitics and real outcomes.