Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Intellectual Dishonesty of the American Left

After Saddam Hussein was executed, there was the usual wailing and lamentations by the American Left. Not so much because they supported Hussein, but because they fear that his execution will reflect positively on George Bush, the Republican Party or the Iraq war.

Gateway Pundit had an article about the Left mourning the death of Saddam Hussein. This was an overstatement. The Left mourns his death only for the reasons cited above, not because they supported his rule or agreed with his murderous ways. However, Gateway Pundit is accurate in saying that much of the Left was unhinged at the execution. They cite, among others, this ridiculous post by Martin Lewis of the Huffington Post, claiming that Hussein was executed so George W. Bush could prove that his penis was larger than that of his father.

Oh Martin Lewis, what depth of analysis, what profound intellectualism, what incisive exposition! Lewis makes the following claims:

It only cost $354 billion (and counting) and the lives of 3,000 very expendable US military to enable the President to demonstrate to his dad that he has a bigger Dick. Or is one...

My response: The investment of lives and money in Iraq was not to hang Saddam Hussein, it was to produce a stable Iraq and eventually, a stable Middle East, one that would not support or fund terrorism against the West. Bush's plan was to produce a democratic Iraq, governed by the rule of law, because democratic nations don't generally commit unprovoked aggression against other nations. The possible flaw in Bush's reasoning was that an Islamic society can be made democratic. Whether it can or not remains to be seen.

As for dicks, Martin Lewis seems awfully obsessed with them, particularly large ones, but then, his sexual preferences are not the issue here. He continues:

To Ronald Reagan. For unilaterally deciding in 1983 to end the 16-year
international isolation of Iraq for its barbarity - and sending Donald Rumsfeld
as his personal goodwill ambassador to befriend Saddam Hussein - during the
exact same time when Hussein was committing the very crimes for which he was
hung. Crimes that were publicized worldwide at the time by Amnesty International and others - and thus fully known about by Reagan, George W. Bush and their entire administration.

Other moonbat posters at Lewis's site and also at Gateway Pundit try to argue the same thing, that Hussein was an American ally. "TrueAmerican" argues that "Saddam Hussein was one of Ronald Reagan's 'Freedom Fighters.' " A poster named Kathy claims Hussein was executed before any of his other, greater crimes could be tried, since in a court of law it would come out that the United States was "complicit" in those crimes.

My response to all of them: Horse manure. This diplomatic initiative did not occur in a vaccum and must be analyzed in the context of its time and the events surrounding it. According to Wikipedia:

Iraq successfully gained some military and financial aid, as well as
diplomatic and moral support, from the United States, the Soviet Union, and
France, which together feared the prospects of the expansion of
revolutionary Iran's influence in the region. The Iranians, claiming that
the international community should force Iraq to pay war reparations to
Iran, refused any suggestions for a cease-fire. They continued the war until
1988, hoping to bring down Saddam's secular regime and instigate a Shi'ite
rebellion in Iraq.

Donald Rumsfeld did indeed have a diplomatic mission to Iraq where he shook hands with Hussein - in 1983. That was 23 years ago, during the Iraq-Iran war, and there were strategic reasons for his visit. He was not a "goodwill ambassador" as the dishonest Mr. Lewis asserts.

This time period was soon after Iran seized the American Embasssy in Tehran and imprisoned 52 Americans for 444 days. Iran's deed was an act of war. Reagan saw, correctly, that Iran was the common enemy of both the United States and Iraq and it was in our best interests to contain the radical Muslim government of Iran.

Any U.S. aid provided to Iraq was temporary and tactical in nature and intended to prevent the takeover of Iraq by Iran during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988). I don't know the dollar volume of this aid, but I suspect it was fairly small. In any case, this aid wouldn't have been necessary had Reagan's predecessor, Democrat Jimmy Carter, not undermined the pro-West Shah of Iran so that the radical muslims, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, could take over.

Donald Rumsfeld was sent over to discuss these matters with Hussein and shook his hand. That means absolutely nothing. Neville Chamberlain shook Hitler's hand while trying to negotiate peace. Does that mean England "supported Hitler"? Madeleine Albright, Clinton's Secretary of State, shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and in fact there is a picture of her toasting him with a champagne glass (see pic above right). I believe that was right before Clinton supplied North Korea with nuclear reactors. Was Clinton pro Communist? Is Clinton "complicit" in that terror state's decision to build nuclear weapons and, in all probability, supply them to other terror states? Of course not, though Clinton's strategy was dangerously reckless and naive.

The point is, sometimes American administrations have to meet with despots and make deals with them that hopefully will benefit the United States. The Left's argument that Rumsfeld and Reagan supported Hussein's terrorism or atrocities because of a diplomatic handshake is therefore both frivolous and asinine.

Likewise, the argument that we should have had no diplomatic contact with Iraq or provided them with a small amount of tactical aid to affect the balance of power in the Middle East is also frivolous. We gave lots of aid to Joseph Stalin during World War II, and not because we supported his previous mass murder of Russians and Ukrainians, but because of strategic necessity in time of war while confronting a common enemy. Oh yes, and that was when we had FDR as president, a Democrat. Was FDR therefore "complicit" in the subsequent Soviet annexation of Eastern Europe?

Further, the genocide that Hussein committed against the Kurds did not happen until 1988, five years after Rumsfeld's visit, so any attempt by Moonbat Martin to imply a connection is pretty farfetched. At the time of the genocide, Hussein claimed the attack on the Kurds was launched by Iran and we were unable to determine otherwise for some years afterwards.

Lewis becomes even more unhinged as responders try to reason with him. He finally descends into hysterical ranting, claiming the United States "supported and funded" Saddam Hussein. He points out that Donald Rumsfeld went to Iraq and shook hands with Hussein and they even have a picture to prove it. So in the minds of demented moonbats, that means Donald Rumsfeld was "Saddam's buddy."

It is typical of the Left, who have so little in the way of facts or logic to support their positions, to hurl unfounded charges and gross generalities that they can't begin to prove.
Update: Dan Collins over at Protein Wisdom describes the same Leftist bullshit, this time excreted by Moonbat Robert Fisk. Take a look.

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