Tuesday, May 11, 2004

It's Good If They Hate Us
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: For Iraqis to Win, the U.S. Must Lose: "Now, looking ahead, we face another irony. To earn their own freedom, the Iraqis need a victory. And since it is too late for the Iraqis to have a victory over Saddam, it is imperative that they have a victory over us. If the future textbooks of a free Iraq get written, the toppling of Saddam will be vaguely mentioned in one clause in one sentence. But the heroic Iraqi resistance against the American occupation will be lavishly described, page after page. For us to succeed in Iraq, we have to lose.
That means the good Iraqis, the ones who support democracy, have to have a forum in which they can defy us. If the insurgents are the only anti-Americans, then there will always be a soft spot for them in the hearts of Iraqi patriots.
That forum is an election campaign. There would be significant risks involved in moving the Iraq elections up to this fall. Parties might use their militias to coerce votes. But Iraqis have to see their candidates and themselves standing up with speeches and ideas, not just with R.P.G.'s. The insurgency would come to look anti-democratic, which would be seen to be bad, not just anti-American, which is seen to be good.
If the Iraqis do campaign this fall, then at their rallies they will jeer at us. We will still be hated around the world. But we will have succeeded in doing what we set out to do."

It is good if they hate us, we just need to make sure it's channeled in the right direction. A sparkling piece from Mr. Brooks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The more relevent part of the article is the litany in the beginning of how completely wrong the pro-war people were, and how right the cautionary people were. Brooks, like Tom Friedman, is never wrong, and can't admit or even see failure. This is his attempt to make lemonade from lemons. Iraq is, unfortunately, a failure, but Brooks can't get himself to say so. All he can say is that it's a failure up until now. And with the same people in charge, it will be better? Why?

George Will over at the Washington Post, has a clear picture of what's going on in Washington. An instructive read. Will is a more serious conservative writer with more intelllectual honesty than Brooks.