When Wrong is Still Right


In reply to James Huggins’ letter, posted here, whose stance has been to consistently bash those of us on the Right who opposed the war in Iraq for daring to be right (there’s a nice quote about that tactic. Someone please find it): Now that Iraq is broken, as we said it would be, these individuals continue to heap scorn on us. “What are ya gonna do; let’s be pragmatic. What’s done is done, so unless you have something constructive to say, shut up and let’s get on with the job.”

What job? Does it not occur to you that sometimes things are irreparably broken? Do you really think we can solve the problem of Iraq? Are there no limits to hubristic and delusional thinking? Are there no limits to the defiance of the laws of nature, such as that central planning has NEVER worked; freedom must rise from the roots, it cannot be imposed from the tree tops? Violate rules a school child learns on the playground, and you’ll come up shortalways. And is it worth losing one more American life to the Iraq Moloch? Oh, I forget, we only value fetuses, not fully grown human beings, thousands of whom are hobbling around on prosthetic limbs, lives ruined. Cicero said, “The first law of history is to tell the truth.” Let Huggins and the rest quit the Hussein-equals-Hitler inanities and admit that, while he was by no means a pleasant fellow, he kept Iraq as together as it will ever be. The trains ran on time and Shia and Sunni lived in relative peace in THE SAME NEIGHBORHOODS. There was no civil war (or “civil strife,” as the euphemism goes). In fact, the Iraqis I had met before the war were generally well-educated and had their act together. That simple thing comes from having an infrastructure: law and order, schools, universities, electricity, potable water, hospitals. Mark my words: this war, over which I am constantly castigated, will be responsible for the loss of a generation of young Iraqis. Mark my words (you heard it here first), in a few years time, the lost Iraqi generation will be a topic for discussion among the talking titmice.

Ibn Saud said: “It may be accepted as an incontrovertible fact that it will be impossible to manage the people of Iraq except by strong means and military force.” A prescription Saddam had mastered. The Sultan of Najd (born in 1876; died in 1953) knew of what he spoke.

5 thoughts on “When Wrong is Still Right

  1. james huggins

    Mercer, I conceded a long time ago that the war in Iraq was a mistake. My continued bashing has been that everybody considering themselves to be on the right side of this debate continue to say the same old things while offering nothing new to consider. I don’t have the answer here. It appears that nobody else does either. I’m sorry we are there and getting our troops killed in this mess but as for those 6600 Iraquis being killed every two months I believe the lion’s share are being killed by their own Muslim brothers. Maybe we opened Pandora’s box but they have been killing each other over translations of Allah’s love for a long time now. The Iraqis, Lebanese, Palestinians and all the rest are hard luck citizens living in hard luck. No we can’t ever bring American style democracy to them because they haven’t the temperment for it. We were naive to try, but make no mistake about it. We are in a world wide fight for our lives with the many headed Jihadist hydra and the invasion of Iraq didn’t start it. As you so eloquently put it,”Let’s get on with job”. Just how to do that is my constant, unanswered question.

    I believe Mussolini was famous for making the trains run on time too. Saddam is in good company.

  2. Carolus

    Ilana gets much credit in my book for being one of the very few to offer genuine principled opposition to the Iraq invasion before the fact. Now that we’ve been over there for three and a half years, with more casulties since Chimpy McFlightsuit landed on the carrier and crowed “mission accomplished!” than during the actual invasion, it is increasingly obvious that our reasons for invading had little if anything to do with fighting the current wave of jihad.

    The Sultan of Najd was telling the truth, and the British learned the hard way that he was right in light of their own failed democracy project in the 1920s. Saddam, a secularized nominal Sunni who was hated by jihadis of both Shia and Sunni persuasion, held the place together the only way it could be – by brute force.

    A civil war is raging there now, regardless of how we attempt to spin and deny it. Reality is a brutal teacher. The distressing thing is that there are so many who put their fingers in their ears and refuse to learn the lesson.

  3. Boomer

    My opening comment is to Mr. Huggins who calls Ilana Mercer “Mercer,” to open his reply. There is something disrespectful and untoward in addressing an honorable person by their last name. I’m not sure how to say it other than to say it is not right. [Always nice to encounter chivalry; thanks. But ‘Huggs’ means no harm. He has been reading me faithfully for years, hence the familiarity. He really is a good and rather inquisitive reader]

    Ilana Mercer appears to be nearly alone by those on the right about the morality of the Iraq war because too many on the right in America no longer see issues based on right and wrong, but by “left and right.” Too many rejoice that Bush is their president because the thought of leftists being in the White House is too awful to consider. So, the president’s base and his party do nothing to hold him accountable because, after all, we could have Kerry in the White House. So, unconstitutional war is tolerated, hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American and Iraqi lives are spent in a ridiculous experiment to bring “democracy” to a country that didn’t ask for it.
    I believe it was Dick Cheney, who was Secretary of Defense under Bush’s father at the end of Gulf War I, who said in reply to critics charging that Bush should have gone after Saddam instead of ending the war after 100 hours… something to the effect that if we went in and took Bagdhad, “what would we do with it?” It appears that he hasn’t yet figured out the answer to that question.

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