This past weekend, the New York Times editorial board issued a call for President Bush to immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq, and let the chips fall where they may (with the supervision of the UN and congressional Democrats, of course). Others have skewered it well, so I will not attempt to replicate their work.
But the reasoning behind this editorial is so convoluted that I am at a loss even to attempt a rational understanding of it. Consider just this brief excerpt:
... Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs.
... But Americans must be equally honest about the fact that keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse.
I can only attribute such twisted reasoning to axiomatic thinking, based on one of the core principles of leftist politics: the sole sources of evil in the world are Republicans and the US military.
This principle, one of the basic axioms that defines the leftist world view, is so rudimentary and fundamental that any attempt to question it or challenge it is heresy to militant leftists, in the same way that challenging the supremacy of Allah or the Trinity would be heresy to Muslims and Christians.
Anyone who attempts to challenge this principle is an evil-doer, and all such challenges are either the epitome of ignorance, or outright lies -- crimethink, in Orwell's 1984 vernacular.
The evil of the US military can be somewhat mitigated by electing a Democrat commander in chief. Such an action does not allow the US military to kill with impunity; rather, the end result is that we just don't talk about the killing. (How often do leftists and Democrats mention civilian casualties incurred as a result of the bombs and missiles that Bill Clinton rained on Serbia?)
But as long as a Republican commands the US military, the outcome can only be raw evil, so pure and horrific that even terrorism, murder, genocide, and ethnic cleansing pale in its shadow. It is the cesspool from which all depraved human activity emerges.
Such seems to be the reasoning of the Times editorial board.
And how do we put in end to this evil? Withdraw our military, put the UN in charge, and sponsor a series of multi-lateral negotiations asking the motley crew of thugs, terrorists, assassins, religious nuts, etc. killing each other over the remains of Iraq to please try and be nice to each other. Then, and only then, will a new era dawn in Iraq.
Those like myself who are a bit less optimistic expect only to see America's "evil" supplanted by an endless series of "unfortunate" and "regrettable" incidents perpetrated by "freedom fighters" and desperate "militias," who will promise to do better next time as long as the US keeps their bank accounts and armories full. (One word: Fatah. Google it.)
And when the blood of innocents flows too freely, there will always be a way to blame everything on the Republicans and the US military. Funny how things seem to work out that way for the Times.
"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." -- T.S. Eliot, 1950