So this is free Baghdad
For the second time since the invasion of Iraq, David Aaronovitch has been given space to wonder whether he was right to support the invasion. Guess what. He was right! Just as he was in February '04. The uprising isn't a principled resistance to a bad constitution. No it's a handful of Shia extremists jockeying for position. And when Naomi Klein said that US trained troops had fired on unarmed demonstrators she was wrong because an unnamed British journalist said so. But wait there's more. The sanctions against Iraq were an earnest attempt to doslodge Saddam. Read it yourself, Aaronovitch says that. OK here I'll copy and paste: "But this is a people who we have (and please excuse my language here) fucked up for a long time now. We colonised them, then neglected them, then interfered out of our own interests, not theirs. We tolerated Saddam and - somewhat later - even supported him. We waged war on him, but refused to help liberate his people. Instead we hit them with sanctions which the regime (which we wrongly believed would fall[maybe Aaronovitch thought so but the "Allies" - US/UK didn't]) ensured caused the maximum damage to the people. We and the Russians and the French, and the UN, and the Turks and the other Arabs, permitted millions of people to die or be reduced to misery and pauperdom.
So, of all the things we have done, the invasion may be bloody appalling, but it is the least bloody appalling thing of all. And the only thing that has offered hope. " Can you believe the chutzpah of this guy? The sanctions were a way of reducing Iraq to a wreck of a place without running the risk of a people led "regime change". Hence the let-down of resistance after the first Gulf war. America even allowed Saddam to keep his helicopter gunships to put down the rising. The worst part of this puff piece for the war is the timing. He must have filed it within 24 hours before or after the American missile attack on the Abdul-Aziz al-Samarrai mosque compound killing forty civilians. Aaronovitch isn't responsible for the timing but what's The Guardian's excuse? Still, in the interests of balance, the main section has Sami Ramadani providing a welcome antedote to Aaronovitch with facts, wit and the concept that Aaronovitch always avoids: context. Aaronovitch does have some support though. Check out "instapundit".