Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

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Arguing against my own side

I still have no doubts that the war was wrong, and that allied troops should be removed as soon as practicable, if not sooner, and that British troops should come out whether or not the US removes its own. The complete failure of the allies to guarantee the security of the average Iraqi has discredited terminally claims that the war was about rebuilding a nation, and the behaviour of Allied troops, especially but not exclusively US ones at Abu Ghraib, has made a hash of the claim that we went in to secure civil rights.
The whole thing has become a clusterfuck mess not worth the bones of a single British squaddie.

HAVING SAID WHICH I am getting extraordinarily annoyed with large sections of the British anti-war movement who keep on talking about a legitimate resistance movement and about a Quisling regime. Vikdun Quisling was installed by the Nazis to replace a legitimate democratic government and they had no intention of replacing him with anything like a democracy. I am no fan of the Allawi clique, but the analogy simply does not work - there was no legitimate democratic government under Saddam and there is at least lip-service being paid to a proper democratic regime next year towards which this is a transition. The analogy is rather with the situation after WW2 - it would be insulting to Adenauer to compare him to Allawi, so perhpas the appropriate analogy is with the People's Republics installed by Russia...And if sections of the Left don't like that analogy, tough.

The other area in which the analogy breaks down is when we talk about the Resistance. There are a lot of groups, some of them weekend nationalists taking potshots at the allies, some of them various sorts of religious militias who regard Christian booze-shops as being as much the enemy as the Americans, and some of them head-banging crazies. Seamus Mullen and others in the Guardian try to argue that there is a good resistance and a nasty resistance - which one was it, pray, who blew up thirty five children yesterday? And it is not enough to say that the Allies have killed children too - I regard all civilian bombing, by both sides, as a war crime.

Part of the problem is the desire of everyone to be on the right side, the delusion that there is a right side to be on.

Pulling out creates a mess; backing Saddam against Khomeini created a mess. Mess is part of the human condition.

When no righteous action is possible, first do no harm.
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