"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Manufacturing Dissent

The Middle East needs Kevin Myers like it needs another hole in the head. But in his latest piece he responds to my last letter, unless there are many others that 'dared' to compare his views on the Easter Rising and Iraq.

Kevin Myers rubbishes the connection between his views on the Easter Rising and the Iraq war in Thursday's Irish Times. The absurd correlation derived from his selective moralising; "men do not take arms against an intangible thing like a "regime", but against real people, with real families and real souls." The Iraq war apparently was waged against a regime, not against people, with real families and real souls.
"The two are not quite the same," but not because France would have vetoed military action if Saddam threatened to nuke Tel Aviv or the Vatican, we were aware he had no WMD's prior to the invasion. Surely they are not the same, because they are completely different. The morality of waging war on real people is where the correlation lies.

The basis for war, that of self defense, was a text book example of manufactured consent. "I would say that the president's rhetoric was not only baseless, but deliberately misleading," Scott Ritter, Iraq weapons inspector. That is why President Chirac's words were a little more nuanced than Mr. Myers would lead us to believe, "My position is that, regardless of the circumstances, France will vote "no" because she considers this evening that there are no grounds for waging war in order to achieve the goal we have set ourselves, i.e. to disarm Iraq."

Mr. Myers then manipulates the case for war, echoing the rhetoric of the leaders who orchestrated this bloody affair. Therefore pre-emption becomes liberation and the absence of a suitable strategy to democratise and rebuild a post war Iraq becomes a case of bad planning. Noam Chomsky in his recent talk in UCD explained how the mainstream media approaches it's government's decisions, he likened it to a high school newspaper's criticism of the football team. Therefore generally much good work done, some mistakes made, must do better. This 'humble' retraction may on the surface seem like a divergence from mainstream warmongering, but Mr. Myers opinions are directly congruent with the US/UK political press brief.

These thoughts have been circulating for some time now, echoing through both the halls of Westminster and the White House. The war was based on the best intelligence available. The Iraqi people were liberated from a murderous tyrant. Democratisation has been hampered by outside influence, further promoting the myth this adventure was prompted by a global war on terror.

Therefore in retrospect he admits it was wrong to support the war. Not because the case for war was manufactured, not because over 100,000 real souls perished, not because there is no intention to rebuild Iraq, but because the horse lacked sufficient training. What a wonderful thing retrospect is. But just like the high school newspaper, he is willing to give the team the benefit of the doubt, and will continue supporting the occupation which fuels the fire.

The good news is, he now has a precedent from which to judge the coalition's intentions towards Iran. Soon I hope to hear him asking those questions he neglected to ask in the lead up to the Iraq war.

An Irishman's Diary
Kevin Myers

Some letter-writers - apparently expecting intellectual consistency of some kind, always the sign of a boring mind - have been contrasting my opinions over the Easter Rising and the Iraq war. Why not? There is so much in common between Herbert Asquith and Saddam Hussein. One was a relatively decent, democratic cove who succeeded in making Home Rule law, and the other a psychopathic lunatic who started war against three neighbours, causing the deaths of millions. Why, he even made poison gas - introduced to the world by our "gallant allies" - fashionable once again.

continued... The Irish Times