A rapidly mutating Hitchens

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 8 11:41:11 MST 2002

(This is from a slate.com column titled "Machiavelli in Mesopotamia".
The homage to Machiavelli is probably the most self-aware words from the
drunken Dubya fan in over a year. If anybody can distinguish between the
Blimpish blather below and a typical William Safire column, then they
have sharper eyes than I do.)

Once this self-evident point has been appreciated, it becomes a matter
of making a virtue of necessity. If an intervention helps rescue Iraq
from mere anarchy and revenge, some of the potential virtues are
measurable in advance. The recuperation of the Iraqi oil industry
represents the end of the Saudi monopoly, and we know that there are
many Wolfowitzians who yearn for this but cannot prudently say so in
public. The mullahs in Iran hate America more than they hate Saddam,
while Iranian public opinion—notice how seldom "the Iranian street" is
mentioned by peaceniks—takes a much more pro-American view. It's hard to
picture the disappearance of the Saddam regime as anything but an
encouragement to civil and democratic forces in Tehran, as well as in
Bahrain, Qatar, and other gulf states that are experimenting with
democracy and women's rights. Turkey will be wary about any increase in
Kurdish autonomy (another good cause by the way), but even the Islamists
in Turkey are determined to have a closer association with the European
Union, and the EU has made it clear that Turkey's own Kurds must be
granted more recognition before this can occur. One might hope that no
American liberal would want to demand any less.

full: http://slate.msn.com/?id=2073634&device


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