One could go on — and I have much more to say in that NR piece I've mentioned. But I'd like to close with this. Last week, I was talking to an Iraqi-born scholar who works in Washington, Nimrod Raphaeli. He is affiliated with the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). I asked why the Coalition forces receive so little credit on the Marsh Arab front. He answered,
"People should give the invasion credit for a lot of things. I often say to journalists, 'Just look at the Iraqi press. Look at freedom of association, look at freedom of speech.' These things never existed in Iraq. This is one occupation that brought freedom, not oppression; that brought freedom, not censorship. Where else do you find a military occupation that encourages a free press? This is a unique occupation."
Dr. Raphaeli continued: "People look only at the bad things. People forget that Iraqis can go out and demonstrate — against the government, against the Americans, against anyone. Before, Saddam commanded 100 percent of the vote! People can go out and buy newspapers from the extreme left to the extreme right, including classical communism. I can go on and on about the changes that have taken place in Iraq."
But those positive changes must remain unremarked, lest anyone think that the war has done some good. American security has been enhanced, and so has Western security generally. In the bargain, a lot of people have been liberated.
That's a very good bargain.
You've heard me say it before about Afghanistan: Many, many people would rather homosexuals be crushed to death, according to the Taliban's law, than that they suffer the indignity of being freed by George Bush and the U.S. military.
And many, many people would rather that Marsh Arabs choke on sand.
As I said earlier, funny old world, and often not so funny.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Jay Nordlinger - The Marsh Arabs
Jay Nordlinger weighs in on the Marsh Arabs, as well as the Alito hearings and Harry Belafonte, among other things, over at NRO today. Worth reading. Here's one gem: