2007/01/20

Tom Friedman, "liberal"

Tom Friedman, NY Times' columnist, mischaracterizes liberal complaints about GW Bush's planned/actual war against Iraq.

"Some opposed it for military reasons"

Presumably this means that opponents thought that the US would lose the military confrontation between Saddam Hussein's official army and US troops, tanks & planes. Were Friedman to expand on this point a bit, we might learn whether he was referring to the foreseen and predicted guerrilla war that followed the initial confrontation.

"because they’re against war"

Yes certainly, there were and are pacifists among the anti-war protesters, people who steadfastly believe that war is always wrong. That's not the position of many of the anti-war groups in this country. PRAWN does not have an official position on that. Some of us believe that, many of us do not and just oppose this particular war. We also however, oppose war against Iran because we're seeing many of the delusional predictions that were offered for Iraq being recycled again for Iran. We feel a war against Iran would turn out much, much worse than war against Iraq did.

"some opposed it because they hate George Bush"

I can assure Mr Friedman that we would have opposed it just as strongly had VP Cheney or some other authoritative person been proposing it. Colin Powell was a respected fellow before his speech at the UN on 5 Feb 03. Now, after Powell gave a mendacious speech full of lies and distortions, if we liberals saw Powell on fire across the street, we wouldn't cross the street to spit on him in order to put the fire out. Our personal regard for Mr Powell was much, much higher than for President Bush, but today they're regarded in much the same light.

"some opposed it because they didn’t believe Arabs are capable of democracy"

Arab countries today are generally not democracies, but we liberals regard that as a function of their economic lack of development rather than any inherent Arab desire to be against democracy. When someone from the Arab part of the world arrives in America, they usually adapt quickly and very soon become proponents of democracy.
If the Bush Administration had any desire to see democracy flourish in Iraq, the fall of Baghdad in early '03 would have been followed by an energetic reconstruction program or at the absolute, rock-bottom minimum, the US would have seen to it that all of Baghdad's government offices were secured against looting. As it was, Iraqi government offices were looted down to the bare walls. A bureaucrat without an office is pretty much like a sailor without a ship, i.e., pretty much useless. That might perhaps have been okay if the US had an efficient reconstruction corps ready to go to restore electricity and get water purification back on line, etc. As it was, electricity is STILL not up to the standards of delivery that the evil dictator Saddam Hussein met with ease. "The average household in Iraq now gets two hours of electricity a day. There is 70 percent unemployment, 68 percent of Iraqis have no access to safe drinking water, and only 19 percent have sewage access. Not even oil production has matched pre-invasion levels."

I’m really sorry. Next time — Next time Ishwar [caller], I promise, I really promise, I’ll be a better liberal.

Sorry Tom, but you're not a liberal at all. A true libral would not have so grossly mischaracterized liberal, progressive, leftist and Democratic opposition the war, either before the war started or now that it's been dragging on for so man years.

A piece from Britain's Independent offers some serious reasons to be against the war (Bit lengthy at 28 kilobytes), the main reason being summarized as being the extreme unfairness of the economic deal being offered to Iraq. The US didn't invade Iraq for free. US corporations stand to profit a great deal from this occupation, as they were clearly meant to do so long before the first shots were fired.

No comments: