In March 2003, America and its allies invaded Iraq.
In April 2003, the Saddam regime fell.
Decades of oppression and genocide were over.
The Iraqi people should have seized the day and made Iraq a better place.
The Americans stayed to try to help Iraq become a better place.
This might have been (probably was) an impossible task,
but it was a noble goal.
America should be proud of trying it.
America should not feel guilty.
The moral responsibility for all deaths since 2003 lies
with the Iraqi resistance
who resisted that goal,
not with America and its allies.
There is no excuse for
Iraq's satanic "resitance"
years of foul and sadistic attacks on Allied forces, Iraqi democrats, minorities and endless innocent Iraqi people.
There is no excuse for the leftist apologists who defended it.
ISIS are the same people the left cheered on for years.
Bruce Thornton, May 25, 2007, says
Bush and Blair should not feel guilty.
There are people to blame, but they are not the westerners with good intentions.
Thornton (not without sadness) criticises the idea that people are logical
and will do what is in their own interest:
"every page of history proves that people are much more than machines or clever chimps. Humans have at their heart a mystery that defies predictive science: the freedom to choose
even what makes them miserable simply because they can choose. It is our quirky unpredictability, our conflicting passions, our contradictory goods, and our willful desire to choose freely that sends all the experts' schemes to the devil.
Just look at Iraq for all the evidence you need. The bloody disorder there is not a consequence of Bush's ineptitude or some better plan that wasn't tried. Ultimately, the mess in Iraq reflects the disordered souls of a critical mass of Iraqis who prefer allegiance to tribal loyalties or a dysfunctional faith to freedom and security."
It is clear who to blame for the war in Iraq since 2003.
The Sunni resistance.
The Shia resistance.
And their western leftist apologists.
After liberation in 2003
2003 was a bad time for the enemies of the Iraqi people.
Having lost the war, they were desperate for the narrative to change.
Mark Steyn a few months on
- "The barest minimum victory has already been won:
Saddam is gone, his entire leadership is dead or in US custody,
his sons have been killed, stuffed, mounted and embalmed
Even if America handed over to the UN now,
Iraq's next dictator would come to power in the shadow of
the cautionary tale of his predecessor: catch our eye and you're dead."
- Of course, America wants more than that for Iraq,
as he then discusses.
But something huge has already been achieved.
Iraqis challenge "Arabism"
by Thomas Friedman
- Free Iraqis disgusted with the Arab countries that betrayed them
(by opposing the war
and supporting Saddam's forces).
- ".. there is a dramatic gulf now between Iraqis and a lot of
other Arabs. Young people here want
to move on. In 10 years, this will be a very different place. If I can
be a part of it, it will be like Hong Kong
or Korea - but with an Iraqi face."
"we were treated as liberating heroes when we arrived four months ago"
"The "Arab Street" I've meet in Iraq loves
- that's not too strong of a word
- America and is deeply grateful for our presence."
"Iraqis routinely ask me to "thank Mr. Bush for freeing us of Saddam""
"The Iraqis know who their foes are too. Two Iraqi children once spontaneously shouted to me, "France, Chirac!" while
thumbs-down sign and shaking their heads disapprovingly. The children quickly smiled and shouted "Bush!" while
by Amir Taheri, March 19, 2004
- 1 year after liberation,
1.2 million Iraqi refugees have come home.
1.2 million people coming home! The left was wrong again.
"It is a pity, not to say a shame, that, for reasons of domestic Western political rivalries, what has been a
spectacular success in liberating a martyred nation from one of the worst tyrannies of recent history is portrayed
as a failure."
Again, no one is fleeing the US troops.
The moral responsibility for all these refugees lies with
the vile Iraqi "resistance" and the sectarian death squads.
No one was leaving the country until the
Iraqi "resistance" and the sectarian death squads
started their violence.
Don't you know your left from your right?, Nick Cohen, January 21, 2007
- OK, so the left was against the war, but:
"I assumed that once the war was over they would back Iraqis trying to build a democracy,
while continuing to pursue Bush and Blair to their graves for what they had done.
I waited for a majority of the liberal left to offer qualified support for a new Iraq,
and I kept on waiting, because it never happened"
".. many thousands of British people
intend to converge on central London to protest against
the overthrow of one of the most cruel and murderous
dictators of the 20th century"
".. though I would not
quite endorse the verdict of the taxi driver with the poppy
stuck in his dashboard who dropped me off at the demos
("Not many of them traitors out tonight, I see"), he at least
saw something that they, with all their apparently
abundant education could not"
An Iraqi blogger on the demos
- "These London demonstrations, I know too well, Oh! Youth, and the Pint of Bitter
later in the nearest Pub. All you peace lovers and humanitarians of trendy London town,
spare a thought or two for
the coalition soldier out there in the dark and wilderness guarding our hospitals,
primary schools and orphanages from the bombers and assassins"
Another Iraqi blogger responds
(Remember that Iraqi bloggers
could not comment
on the Feb 2003 marches, since they were living under Saddam's rule.
Now at last they are free to speak.)
- "I was ashamed and depressed watching those brainwashed and deluded demonstrators in London
carrying signs calling for abandoning Iraq and for an end to aggression.
... I'm sure Saddam is proud of you and clapping his hands in glee watching
from whatever gutter he is hiding in right now.
... I can only say SHAME on you."
"That remnants of the totalitarian Left and various brands of fascism should march to condemn
the liberation of Iraq is no surprise. What is surprising is that some mainstream groups,
such as the British Liberal-Democrat Party
and even some former members of Tony Blair's Labour Government,
should join these marches of shame."
"The Lib-Dems at their spring conference last week found enough time
to reiterate their shameful opposition to the liberation of Iraq
at some length.
But they had no time to take note of what looks like a historic turning point
in favour of democracy in the Middle East."
I love it. This really is a low moment in Liberal Democrat history
- a period that they will, once they wake up,
be ashamed of forever.
- The Iraqi blogger Husayn Uthman
replies to the "anti-war" marchers:
"So you ask me, Husayn, was it worth it. What have you gotten? What has Iraq acheived?
These are questions I get a lot.
To many outsiders,
like those who protested last year, who will protest today,
this was a fools errand, it brought nothing but death and destruction.
Now I answer you, I answer you on behalf of myself, and my countrymen.
I don't care what your news tells you, what your television and newspapers say, this is how we feel.
Despite all that has happened. Despite all the hurt, the pain, blood, sweat and tears.
These two years have given us hope we never had."
"Before March 20, 2003, we were in a dungeon. We did not see the light.
Saddam Hussain was crushing Iraq's spirit slowly, we longed for his end,
but knew we could not challenge him, or
his diabolical seed
who would no doubt follow him and continue his generation of hell on Earth.
Since then, we now have hope. Hope is not a tangible thing, but it is something,
it is more than being blinded by darkness, by being stuck in a mental pit without any future.
Hope has been the greatest product of the last two years.
We are not going to surrender. For all that the two years have brought, the greatest thing they have given us
is a future, and a view of the finish line.
Iraqis see the finish line, the finish line of freedom and democracy and a functioning nation. We can smell it,
taste it, and like a sprinter, one who has broken his legs, but who has a heart full of passion,
we will crawl there no matter what the cost."
"We have been brought from darkness to light. And not only has the future been made better for Iraq,
but the martyrs of our nation, their blood is watering the roots of democracy across the world.
We are watching our neighbors come closer to the light, and this only pushes us more, and makes us stronger
in our burning desire to reach the finish line, to realize the dream that our people have had for so long."
Responses to the 2 Year Anniversary
- He gets some abuse from "anti-war" freaks in the West for his post.
He nails them down perfectly:
"it is in a way a rude awakening to me of the attitudes that some people in the West hold.
Perhaps I was a bit naive in the past, I thought these were fringe ideas, but I see that you in the West
have people similar to the self-defeating terrorists who infest our nation. If the US or Europe
were in a similar situation that Iraq is in, then these people would surely be the ones blowing up innocents
so that your nation would be stopped from progress."
Britain's no.1 supporter of global jihad.
Supporter of jihad in Iraq and Israel.
openly supports the Iraqi jihad.
friend of jihad terrorists, speaks at terrorist marches,
supported the Iraqi jihad.
openly supports the genocidal slave-state of
which has killed 4 million people,
and, in the 21st century, keeps hundreds of thousands of men, women and little children
in concentration camps.
The Stop the War Coalition is deeply linked to (even a front group for) the SWP.
openly supported the Iraqi jihad
as it killed US and UK troops and brave Iraqi democrats.
As has been said many times, people like this aren't anti-war.
They're pro-the other side.
contained banners openly supporting the mass-murdering terror group
and the mass-murdering dictator
Both of these are extremely violent people.
Again and again, it must be said, the Stop The War Coalition is not "anti-war".
Otherwise it would not tolerate banners in support of violent groups like these
in its marches.
Hezbollah flag wavers at
Stop The War Coalition march, Sept 2006.
"Anti-war" my foot.
Anti-Iranian regime activist
stages a counter-protest during
speech at "Stop the War" rally, Sept 2006.
Reza Moradi is in the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain,
but he is also in the
Worker-Communist Party of Iran.
So he will make sense on Islam and sharia but not on other issues.
Another counter-protester, Shiva Mahbobi, says:
"Listen. We are tortured by the Iranian regime,
and the flags of Islamic regime of Iran
is right there.
How do you feel if the Hitler's banner is there?"
The arguments descend into an open demonstration by young Islamist thugs
in support of Iran.
Shiva Mahbobi says she was tortured by the Iranian regime,
and yet the thugs shout "Liar! Liar!"
Hezbollah flags at
Stop The War Coalition march, Sept 2015.
See full size.
Baghdad's New Anti-Americans,
by Steven Vincent,
February 18, 2004
- "Human shield" idiots and other anti-American creeps
still hanging round Baghdad
whining about America,
months after they lost the war.
Steven Vincent on Juan Cole:
"you might want to review your own site and how well it reflects love and concern for the Iraqi people.
on "Informed Comment," pro-liberation Iraqi bloggers are accused of being CIA agents,
the elections are practically dismissed as window-dressing and every terrorist
- no, I mean guerrilla, as Cole would have it
- attack is given marquis billing, as if their psychopathic bloodlust discredits
the liberation of 26 million people.
Well, I thank Cole for revealing his gut-level concern for the Iraqi people
My question to the Professor is, which Iraqi people
- the fascist thugs he calls the "resistance,"
or the police, National Guardsmen, politicians, everyday people and eight million voters
who comprise the true Iraqi "resistance?""
The disgusting violence unleashed by jihadists and Baathists after liberation in 2003
caused both left and right to construct new arguments.
The right thinks that the lesson of Iraq is that you should not bother trying to liberate Arabs and Muslims,
because they do not want to be free.
You should destroy regimes that threaten you, and then get out.
The left thinks the lesson of Iraq is that
the Iraq War was immoral, and the allies should feel guilty in some way
for what they did.
The left also thinks the violence proved that
the anti-war protesters (many of whom supported the violence) were right.
To me, this is just saying:
If evil triumphs, then evil was right
and those who opposed evil were wrong.
in 2013, 10 years after invasion, takes pro-war pundits to task.
His articles are worth replying to.
He thinks it obvious that the abuse directed at anti-war protesters was wrong.
But many of these protesters were morally dubious people
who would have opposed the liberation of anyone by Bush,
even if there was no post-war resistance.
Many of the protesters also
openly supported the Iraqi violence.
If anything, they did not get enough abuse.
Imagine someone who said in 2003:
"Deposing Saddam is a noble goal,
and a good thing for the West.
But staying on to build Iraq will not go well, because Arab Muslims basically do not want to be free.
They want other things."
Anyone who said something like that (and very few did, certainly not me) would deserve respect now.
But no one on the anti-war side spoke like that.
They spoke out of hatred for America, disinterest in Iraqi freedom,
and even love for the Islamic jihad.
So they deserve no respect at all.
He does have a point that:
"Urging a war of choice that requires more years of fighting to win
than the citizenry will permit is itself an error."
I agree. But the error was in thinking that Arabs and Muslims want to be free.
(Some do. But not enough.)
But Friedersdorf will never draw that conclusion.
He will never blame the Iraqi people for wasting their chance.
Instead he thinks the westerners who gave them that chance should feel guilty
in some way.
He says: "If guys like Steyn didn't realize, when they were calling on the U.S. to invade Iraq, that Americans would tire of fighting there after a decade of conflict, thousands of troops killed, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent, they should blame themselves for missing the obvious."
But he never explains why this is obvious.
Why is it obvious that Arabs will fight their liberation from a dictator
and fight against the arrival of democracy?
The anti-war left never explained why this was "obvious" before the war,
or at any time since.
Friedersdorf claims neocons should be "mugged by reality" now,
but he never explains what they should have learnt.
Because he does not understand it himself.
The bottom line is that we have learned something from the war.
We learnt that Middle Eastern Muslims are not Poles.
They don't want to be free, and it's pointless trying to help them.
But this is not a lesson you will ever find in Friedersdorf,
because his ideology will not allow him blame the foreigners.
He is only comfortable blaming his own people.
Victor Davis Hanson, 13 May 2013, says the Arabs blew their chance on Iraq, and that is why no one will now help Syria.
"Please, Spare Us Now “You Owe Us Help”.
If Arab reformers ever wanted a shot at democracy, Iraq was still their golden opportunity.
Instead, almost all damned the effort and caricatured Americans.
A nearly bankrupt and divided America after Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya is not up for Syria
— and an Arab Spring that on its own chose Winter does not deserve any more American blood.
Sorry, that’s just the way it is."
An interesting alternative:
was not a supporter of the Iraq War.
And yet he too is willing to blame the people of Iraq (and Islam) for a lot of what went wrong:
"Much of the responsibility for this disaster falls on the Bush administration, and one of the administration’s great failings was to underestimate the religious sectarianism of the Iraqi people. Whatever one may think about the rationale for invading Iraq and the prosecution of the war, there is nothing about the conflict that makes Islam look benign — not the reflexive solidarity expressed throughout the Muslim world for Saddam Hussein (merely because an army of “infidels” attacked him), not the endless supply of suicide bombers willing to kill Iraqi noncombatants, not the insurgency’s use of women and children as human shields, not the ritual slaughter of journalists and aid workers, not the steady influx of jihadis from neighboring countries, and not the current state of public opinion among European and American Muslims. It seems to me that no reasonable person can conclude that these phenomena are purely the result of U.S. foreign policy, however inept."
expresses how I feel, that the Iraqis disgraced themselves after 2003.
They were not the same as the people living under communism, who wanted freedom.
The Iraqis did not want freedom.
Or at least, not enough of them did:
"The Poles sought liberation from an oppressive occupying regime because it trampled individual liberties and imposed artificial poverty. No doubt, they would have welcome a successful foreign invasion that gave them free elections and a free economy. (Even prickly France was briefly grateful when we showed up in 1944.) The Arabs of Iraq responded by turning on their liberators and each other, turning their purgatorial country into a hell of interreligious violence. Does Cohen blame them, or draw from this experience any conclusions about the Arab world or Islam? No, he excuses them all, implicitly,
by noting that a foreign invasion offended "Arab pride.""
Shame on the Iraqis for what they did after liberation in 2003.
There were exceptions. But not enough of them.