Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Strange bedfellows indeed

I have to admire Christopher Hitchens, even if I disagree with him, profoundly, when it comes to the war in Iraq. He does not mince words: He is right, and you are wrong. I grow tired of his self-righteous condescension, but that doesn’t change the fact that he continues to offer the most morally and intellectually rigorous arguments for the invasion of Iraq and the continued presence of U.S. troops there.

He does not, however, dispute the obvious, which is that things would have gone a lot better had the United States been supported in its effort to oust Saddam Hussein by the United Nations. Given that the Bush administration was determined, no matter what, to go to war in Iraq, it is the war’s great tragedy that the president failed to persuade most our allies to join us.

After all, the opposition of France, Germany and Russia, for example, was not in itself evidence that the war was a bad idea. Nor was such opposition inevitable. Various news accounts on the eve and in the aftermath of the invasion painted the picture of an administration either too lazy or arrogant to work the phones, so to speak, to persuade several key nations to come on board. Russia, in particular, was practically waiting to be wooed by the United States, and when no entreaties were forthcoming, found suitors elsewhere.

So it is too bad that the administration didn’t have the likes of Hitchens on the payroll to make its case. And what an irony that the administration’s most vociferous ally among the chattering class should be an atheist British Trotskyite who thinks Henry Kissinger is a war criminal.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home