Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ambivalent Iraq

In contrast to the unedifying lizard/Islamofascist feeding frenzy I posted about earlier, I point to a piece on the Huffington Post site by Tish Durkin. It's a challenging piece for the anti-war constituency at Huff Post, but in the main the comments are thoughtful, courteous and engage with Durkin's essay.

I've a feeling Andrew Sullivan might have written about it, but most of the links I've seen have been from the Decent Left (Harry's Place, Normblog etc). It's a piece for everyone, though, and not just the left.

Highly recommended, not least because writing this good is always a pleasure:

...until one day in July 2004, when Sean and I were briefly back in the States, some gunmen pulled even with the Galloper on a busy highway in broad daylight and shot Mohaymen to death.

I remember having lunch someplace when a car bomb went off -- not, as it sounded, right under the table, but close enough so that when we - the not-yet-dead Mohaymen and I -- stepped out onto the street, it was black with smoke and littered with human remains. And I remember later interviewing the family - or was it just the son? -- of someone who had literally been scattered by that bombing. I don't recall the details of how the family had retrieved the body, but they had definitely had to go around, collecting him.

Whatever you think of the rest of this post, please do not write in to impress upon me the horrors that have descended upon innocent Iraqis since the American-led invasion. I really feel that I know.

I know other things too, though. Maybe it's just the contrarian in me, but it is these other things that I feel the need to stress, especially to those who are now reveling in their rightness about the war. Those who opposed the war seem to feel that they are the perfect opposite of those who sold the war - and of course, in the important sense of the invade-or-not-to-invade question, they are. But in their collective allergy to any fact that may complicate their position; their proud blindness to the color gray, and their fervent faith in their own infallibility, the two sides have always struck me as very much the same.
Iraq: A Place of Ambivalence

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