May 05, 2005

Is there a Non-Tyrannic Iraqi Insurgency?

Fred Kaplan has me steamed. He wants to assert that President Bush is wrong to say "there are still some in Iraq who aren't happy with democracy. They want to go back to the old days of tyranny and darkness and torture chambers and mass graves." But President Bush isn't wrong. In fact, he's exactly spot on.

I can't think of any of the several elements of the Iraqi insurgency that is not seeking to impose a tyrannical regime on Iraq that is an echo of the past. The difference is which style of tyranny, what vision of the past would be imposed. The dead would not care much if they died for defying a hyper-strict vision of Islam or for making a joke about the Baathist party. The grave is just as cold.

Kaplan misunderstands the nature of the US system because President Bush did not give a complicated breakdown of the various elements, he obviously is uninformed about the complexity of the situation. That's not the way a democratic republic works. The job of the president is to inform the people sufficiently so that they can make the big decisions come next election time and leave the details and the day-to-day direction to specialized representatives. President Bush did exactly that.

The US public doesn't much need to know whether it's going to be Sunni swords chopping off heads for relatively minor offenses, Shiite hangmen stringing up 14 year old girls who talk back to judges, or Baathist knives slitting throats in the street just for the heck of it. They're all despicable scum and President Bush thinks that we should be against them and for the working majority in Iraq that want a peaceful, free society that they can build out of their own faith and dreams.

Simplifying and clarifying down to reasonable choices isn't a lack of nuance for a US President. It's part of the job description. You'd think that a figure like Kaplan would know this.

Posted by TMLutas at May 5, 2005 09:14 AM