Thursday, December 08, 2005

Juan Cole vs. the loony left

An interesting comment by Juan Cole.

We have to win smart. That means giving the Iraqis their independence ASAP while acting responsibly to avert potential crises if necessary.

There are people* attacking me now because I say I think the US does have the responsibility to forestall massive hot civil war in Iraq if it can, of the sort that could leave 2.5 million people dead and 5 million displaced abroad. That is what happened in Afghanistan from 1979. The US helped destabilize it(the Soviets contributed more to the actual destabilzaiont)in the 1980s and then, under Bush senior, just walked away completely. [Many on t]he American far left never complained about what was going on in Afghanistan in the 1990s, because for them the only source of evil in the world is US imperialism, and since the US had largely left Afghanistan, all was well. No matter if hundreds of thousands of Afghans were maimed as the US turned its back. Somehow they don't complain so loudly about US-led NATO intervention in the former Yugoslavia, which certainly saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives. They don't actually care about Bosnians or Afghans or Iraqis, just about hating the US. The US has done horrible things. It has also done noble things. I am hoping that it finally does the noble thing in Iraq, and wins smart, for the Iraqis and for the Americans. Dean gets that. Bush doesn't.

Unfortunately, Cole doesn't have a lot of intellectual backbone if he's not attacking "Likudniks." A few complaints from commenters suffering from"free-floating anxiety" and Cole drops the looney description.
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I used the phrase originally "looney left" for these quarters that wanted to paint me as some sort of war criminal for hoping to forestall genocide. The comments section has convinced me to avoid the phrase, because people who consider themselves on the left and are eager to see the US out of Iraq seem to have developed a free-floating anxiety that I might be referring to them or their position. I assure them that I was not; it is to a looney position that I was referring.

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