18 November 2017

The greatest criminals

In the annals of American decline, the Iraq War under George W Bush and Dick Cheney will, I am certain, come to be remembered as one of the great tipping points – if not the tipping point – at which we sacrificed any semblance of respect for truth in the pursuit of… precisely what is still not clear, and has become less so the more the war and its motives are examined. Revenge? Oil? Corporate privilege? Wilsonian ideology? Democratic idealism? The ‘end of history’?

The masterminds of the war will have much to answer for. The blood of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent Iraqis will cry up from the ground in accusation. But even more so, the willing tools of those neoconservative masterminds: the ‘liberal hawks’, the bleeding-heart interventionists whose good intentions would pave the way for a great utopian upwelling of Middle Eastern democracy and freedom. These people must stand accused and accursed. The greatest criminals are the ones who begin committing their crimes with the monstrous lie on their forked tongues: ‘we are your friends’.

Hillary Clinton. John Edwards. Joe Lieberman. Christopher Hitchens. Thomas Friedman. Jacob Weisberg. Paul Berman. Michael Ignatieff. Jonathan Chait. Bill Keller. Fred Hiatt. All of these people must be condemned, again and again, over and over, for each and every one of the half a million deaths, the rapes and the tortures, the infant deformities from depleted uranium, the displaced families, the persecuted Assyrians, the human blood that they wilfully plunged their hands into, the hypocrisies they indulged, the lies they perpetuated, the people of the world that they deceived, all in their support of Bush’s Folly. And not only them. Also Lech Wałęsa. Also Adam Michnik. Also Václav Havel. Also Liu Xiaobo and Yu Jie. Also Chen Shui-bian. Also Koizumi Jun’ichirô. Also Mikheil Saakashvili. Also Garry Kasparov. Also André Glucksmann. Each and every such native informant outside the West who backed Bush. Even though Hitchens, Havel, Glucksmann and now Liu are dead, their whited sepulchres deserve no honour, and the people who still honour them in defence of their ‘cause’ perpetrate the very same lies that they told in that ‘cause’.

These people are not heroes; they are not paragons of civic virtue and democratic idealism; they are moral cowards. They are dogs, carrion birds and maggots. From actual defenders of democracy in particular, they deserve condemnation and censure at every turn, not for their support of ‘democracy’, but for their wilful support of totalitarian untruths, in the name of ‘democracy’. Such people destroyed my faith in ‘democracy’ as an ideal, and I will not go back to the tyrannies they cherish and represent, their graven Inannas soaked in sacrificial Iraqi blood.

Upon the heads of such people, horrified though they might be by his rise, belongs the brunt of the blame for the relativism and cynicism of the Age of Trump in their disdain for truth and their hatred of just critique – precisely because they were not punished for their lies. If not ‘fake news’ itself, then the warranted distrust of the traditional news media, began with Judith Miller’s tall tales of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and the immanent threats he and his nation posed to democracy, peace and the liberal order. The fact that no single liberal commentator lost a job over his support of the war, and that prizes were given instead and backs were patted, speaks volumes about the spiritual death of our entire modern political order, and its impotence in the face of the very authoritarianism it ostensibly set out to destroy. Those whom God would destroy, he first makes mad. The supporters of the war in Iraq, and especially the liberal ones, bear responsibility for the crisis of political legitimacy we are in today.

I am in dead earnest.

We are where we are now because democracy failed. And the failure is not the current administration’s. The failure belongs to the supporters of Bush. Even and particularly his liberal, democratic and idealist supporters.

And all this deserves to be said now more than ever, precisely because of Bush’s rehabilitation at the hands of liberals, democrats and idealists, showing that these people have learnt nothing from the rise of Trump.

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