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Morgan

Arab News Offers Revisionist View Of Iraq War

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I thought this was a very powerful news item that people may want to discuss further.

Does this article in the largest English language Middle Eastern daily newspaper represent the start of changing Arab Street views re: the USA and its invasion of Iraq? Or is this a flash-in-the-pan, isolated columnist's position?

I'll cut and paste full text because to provide snips would not do it justice.

Revisionist thoughts on the war in Iraq

Is it too early to adopt a revisionist view of the US war in Iraq and for this column to admit its mistake in having vehemently opposed it from the outset?

At issue here is whether the Iraqi people have benefited from the overthrow of the Baathist regime and whether the American occupation will eventually benefit their country even more. I’m convinced — and berate me here from your patriotic bleachers, if you must — that what we have seen in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates in recent months may turn out to be the most serendipitous event in its modern history.

One need offer no apology for saying that the supreme virtue of this war is that Saddam Hussein was gotten rid of. Period. The very man who had established arguably the closest approximation of a genuine fascist state in the Arab world, that sustained itself on fear, repression, genocide, cult of personality and wanton murder — a state whose law was that those who rule are the law.

One doesn’t become a revisionist in a vacuum. I pore over material from various media sources about the mass graves unearthed all over Iraq, particularly those discovered in uncounted pits in the south, where Saddam had crushed a rebellion there in 1991 with genocidal ferocity, and I turn away in nauseated disbelief. Then there’s the UN Special Rapporteur’s September 2001 report about the execution of 4,000 prisoners at Abu Ghraib’s prison in 1984, and 3,000 others at the Mahjar prison between 1993 and 1998. And you ask how a regime could become so monstrous, so whisked clean of human decency.

Last Saturday, the Washington Post’s Peter Finn filed a gut-wrenching report about Baghdad’s Kadimiyah High School, where during the 1990s kids were being dragged off for questioning by members of the Mokhabarat for writing boyish anti-Saddam graffiti on their walls, such as “Down with Saddam” — and never returned home. Only now are their families, like other families of the “disappeared” speaking up, asking questions and demanding to know how and why their children were killed and where they are buried. One of the ancillary byproducts of the US invasion of Iraq was the ouster of Saddam and the obliteration, clearly forever, of the totalitarian dungeon that he had turned his country into.

That, in my book, is enough to warrant extending my support for that invasion and for Washington’s projected plans to rebuild the country.

Washington may not succeed in turning Iraq into a “beacon of democracy” but it will succeed, after all is said and done, in turning it into a society of laws and institutions where citizens, along with high-school kids, are protected against arbitrary arrest, incarceration, torture and execution.

Look, I have no illusions about the shenanigans and hypocrisies of a big power like the US, including its neocon ideologues, who are more cons than neos. Lest we forget, at the height of Saddam’s bloody reach in the 1980s, which saw the Halabja atrocities, Washington not only uttered nary a word of criticism of the Iraqi leader, let alone called for his overthrow, but provided him with political, military and economic assistance that, in effect, underwrote his survival and made possible the very repression that American officials now claim they want to banish forever from the land.

All true. Yet, the US may, just may, end up doing in Iraq what it did in war-ravaged European countries under the Marshall Plan. And if it doesn’t, well, what would Iraqis have lost other than the ritual terror of life under a dictator who had splintered their society into raw fragments of fear, hysteria and self-denial — a man who insisted that third graders learn songs whose lyrics lauded him with lines such as “when he passes near, the roses celebrate.”

No, I don’t believe that by going to war, America had dark designs on Iraq’s oil or pursued an equally dark conspiracy to “help Israel.” I believe that the US, perhaps willy-nilly, will end up helping Iraqis regain their human sanity, their social composure and the national will to rebuild their devastated nation.

And no, it’s not too early to adopt a revisionist view of the US war in Iraq, or too late for a columnist to say he was wrong all along.

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Yet another media change of position. Is this a trend? Here's a lukewarm pro-USA whisper in the Globe & Mail:

Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, on what Iraqis think

"...Hossain al-Kadum, a stocky, 24-year-old computer whiz, is worse off than he was before the war. He used to have a good job as a computer programmer for the government. Now, to make ends meet, he works a 12-hour overnight shift at an Internet cafe...Ask him if his life is better, and he doesn't hesitate. "Now," he says, "I can stand up as a man."

There's a weird disconnect between the debates raging in the West about what's happening here, and the way Iraqis talk. Sometimes it's as if the Western media and the Iraqis are discussing two different countries.

A solid majority of Iraqis want the Americans to turn the government over to them and go home -- but not yet. Maybe in a year or three, after things have settled down. Meantime, they tell the pollsters, they're modestly optimistic: For the first time in memory, most people think life will be better next year than it is today.

I'm no apologist for the occupation. It's clear that the Americans had no idea what they were taking on. I don't think they've got a chance of turning Iraq into a shining beacon of democracy. But contrary to the impression left by TV, the vast majority of Iraqis deplore the terrorist attacks, even those that kill Americans. They're horrified by the suicide bombers who blow up Red Cross buildings and police stations and set off bombs near schools. Most are completely convinced that all the terrorists are foreigners, because Iraqis simply wouldn't do things like that.

There are other shreds of good news. A fundamentalist Islamic revolution is not on the horizon -- not yet, at any rate. People with relatives in Iran know what life's like there, and they don't want any part of it. In the mosques of Karbala (the second holiest Shia city in Iraq), the clerics are preaching tolerance and moderation. Give the Americans a chance, they say. Work with them.

Meantime, thousands of young Iraqi men are signing up to join the police and the security guards. Iraqis are coming forward to volunteer information to the coalition forces about gangsters, counterfeit rings and weapons caches.

Iraq's a mess. But most Iraqis would be amazed by the depiction of their country in the Western media. They wouldn't recognize themselves. "

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Parody of Left Winger:

(Got me on that one, have to fall back to other argument Check one: oil, WMD, Neo Colonialism)

Whatever.

(note lack of counter argument to issue presented and fall back postition to item totally unrelated to origional position; anti war because it hurt Iraqis.)

Where's the WMD big guy?

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Well here we are, years later, wating for an attack on US soil. Waiting for Al Queda to do what they say they will do. And all we get are more of the same old 'Months late, delivered by slow camel, ambiguous verbal rhetoric crap spewings' from a leader in hiding.

For a bunch of guys that are striking fear into our hearts, why are they in hiding?

MORE OF THE SAME

"We are still chasing the Americans and their allies everywhere, even in their homeland," he said.

LINK FOR LOSERS

Turkish authorities have captured a Turkish man suspected of planning last month's deadly truck bombings in Istanbul after meeting with Osama bin Laden,

In his interrogation, Ersoz allegedly confirmed that their first target was a Turkish military base used by the United States in southern Turkey, but militants stymied by tight security bombed two synagogues on Nov. 15 and the British Consulate and a London-based bank in Istanbul only five days later.

The daily newspaper Hurriyet also reported Friday that Ersoz has said the militants have been preparing for the attacks for about two years.

OK, let's see. Two years to plan an attack that does more harm to fellow Muslims than Americans. Then they lose a few operatives. Leaders in hiding, ineffective terrorits attacks, being captured and decommissioned left and right? These guys ROCK!

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