Friday, July 01, 2005

People of the left

Jogo says:
For "People of the Left", it is more important for Bush to be wrong than for the Iraq project to succeed.

A reply from a friend:
In the case of the Iraq war (and war it is), it is important to know what "success" would be. Mr Bush has not actually said what it would amount to, even in his recent hour-long speech.

IF success is a transition to a truly democratic and stable Iraq, I'm all for that. And, unlike some others, I'm prepared to believe that this --rather than, say, control of oil -- was a motivating factor for the US administration when it ventured into war.
BUT, is it likely that such a transition will be achieved by foreign powers, and in the foreseeable future? So far, the war has turned a site of tyranny into a site of terrorism and chaos. MY question, and I ask it not as a rhetorical point, but as a question, is: Is a stable Iraq more likely to result from the coalition forces staying or leaving? And if the answer is staying, how many Iraqi and coalition deaths can be tolerated -- by us, by you and me, as well as by the abstraction "world public opinion"?
My reply:

Yes, there are "people of the left" who would prefer Bush to fail than peace to come to Iraq. These are the people who talk about the Iraqi "resistance" and take delight in every set-back for the Coalition. But there is also a left - perhaps a much bigger one - who do not think like that. Folks like Hak Mao, Labour Friends of Iraq, Harry, Norman Geras and Socialism in an Age of Waiting are hardly "people of the right".

And I'd also ask the follow-up question - what would the 'success' of 'the project' mean? Democratic, secular? Free market capitalism? A Shi'ite theocracy? Obviously, the first of these would be worth the sacrifice - but the second two wouldn't.


Previous: Condoleeza in Cairo, Opposing patriarchal murder is "orientalist", Voting for the war, Izzy-Pal, Social justice versus liberal ideology, 55% against the war, Hard to be a leftist Jew these days, The best Eid ever, Confounding the perverse hopes & expectations of the Bush-hating Left, Whose side are you on?

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