Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Well, Well, Well

Sometimes the New York Times holds its editorially slanted nose and allows the publication of an article like this:

A Vote of Thanks by Hussein Abdul Hussein
"“Here is another ballot, go vote again and let him take your picture,” Nabil al-Janabi, the Iraqi chargé d'affaires in Beirut, said while handing me a paper on the Day of the Great Crawl, when we — Iraqis at home and abroad — were required to vote for the only presidential candidate, Saddam Hussein."
"On Sunday, I will be driving to Arlington, Virginia, to vote for Iraq’s second post-Saddam Parliament. This time I have a choice of more than 6,000 candidates.

The election is the fifth national vote since 2005, a year in which Iraqis voted for a National Assembly, then approved the Constitution, and then elected their first Parliament. Last year we voted in provincial elections."
"Iraqis realize that their democracy is not the best, but they also know that practice makes perfect.

Since 2002 Iraqi elections have been evolving. While still not perfect, democracy is striking root.

Meanwhile, what Iraqis like me have learned is that transformation from autocracy to democracy would not have been possible without the 4,700 brave American and allied servicemen and women who lost their lives, and the many others who were wounded, for the sake of Iraq’s freedom.

Families of these heroes should know that many of us are grateful to their sons and daughters, and to the United States and its allies at large, even if they do not hear thank you often from Iraq or its leaders.

It is on days like Sunday that these sacrifices most strongly comes to Iraqi minds."
Of course, now that The One has taken responsibility for victory in Iraq, the New York Times has to speak to a different tune.

Not so with Balbulican, though, that lover of autocracy and author of this nasty missive:
"Who issues threats of consequences better that you do – huh? Nobody, thats who….. and remember, no matter what anyone says you’ve always got the invasion and occupation of Iraq to be proud of, nobody can ever take that away from you can they?"
So, my advice to you, Balb pal, is don't read this New York Times article. It may cause such severe cognitive dissonance that all that hot air between your ears will expand and the empty shell that surrounds it will explode.

However, you might want to read the original article I linked to here.

And try this one, too, from which I have lifted the few paragraphs below (emphasis mine). Note, dear Balbulican, that this piece was published in 2002, before the Americans and their many, many allies invaded Iraq, you know, the time during which the Americans offered the Butcher of Baghdad to opportunity to flee the country to find safe harbour somewhere else, an offer he jokingly refused, to his everlasting sorrow, saying only if he could take the instructions for producing WMD with him, plus $1bn, and which not even the Arab League could satisfactorily arrange:
"Since the early 1990s, the Iraqi government has relied upon a policy of deliberate expulsion of people from their homes in order to stamp out and punish political opposition and seize oil-rich areas and valuable land. In the north, there have been systematic efforts to ‘Arabise’ the predominantly Kurdish districts of Kirkuk, Khanaqin and Sinjar. To secure control of this strategically and economically vital oil-rich region, the government expelled Kurds, Assyrians and Turkmans – sometimes entire communities – from the cities and surrounding areas. In the south, Baghdad has carried out campaigns of suppression against the Marsh Arabs and other Shi’a, destroying villages and draining marshlands to hasten depopulation. Hundreds of thousands of IDPs remain without basic resources. There are well over a million internally displaced persons in Iraq, with an estimated three quarters of a million in northern Iraq alone.

In addition, over the last decade, between 1 and 2 million Iraqis are estimated to have fled Iraq. Most live in countries bordering Iraq or in the region, the largest numbers, over 250,000 in Jordan, 200,000 in Iran, and 40,000 in Syria. There are also tens of thousands of Iraqis who live in Lebanon and Turkey. The Iraqis are in addition to the huge numbers of Palestinians who live in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria and the Afghans and other refugees living in Iran and Turkey.

Assistance to refugees in these countries does not meet minimum international standards. In some cases, refugees’ freedom of movement is severely restricted; they are vulnerable to police harassment, beatings, sexual violence, extortion, arrest, detention and possible deportation; they cannot return home for fear of punishment; their chances of being offered resettlement in the US, Canada, Australia or Europe are extremely slim; they cannot integrate with local populations in the Middle East; they are refused permission to work; they live in limbo. It is not surprising that rather than remain in limbo many Iraqis choose to put their lives and the lives of their families at risk by engaging the services of human smugglers in order to try to reach the shores of Western countries to apply for asylum. The lack of safe refuge in the region, therefore, contributes to the so-called asylum crisis in Europe and elsewhere.
Outside of the Middle East, the number of Iraqis seeking asylum in the West has increased steadily in recent years. Between 1989 and the end of 2001, 277,500 Iraqis applied for asylum in western countries, mostly in Europe. Of these, the largest numbers went to Germany (84,500), followed by the Netherlands (40,900), Sweden (36,800) and the United Kingdom (23,800. The numbers of arrivals of Iraqis in Europe have continued to rise in recent years but the pattern of where Iraqis apply for asylum has changed. While Germany (37,900) continued to receive the largest number of Iraqi asylum seekers between 1999 and the end of 2001, the United Kingdom (15,700) overtook other EU countries in numbers of Iraqi asylum applicants. Iraqis are now the largest national group of asylum seekers in Europe and the UK. The alarming size of Iraq’s populations of internally displaced people, refugees and asylum seekers in the West underscore the fact that, even without a war, there already exists a world-wide Iraqi refugee crisis."
It stands to reason that during a war, the number of people seeking asylum will skyrocket, but only a blithering fool will persist in believing that Saddam Hussein's brutal rule did not produce a record number of asylum seekers before those dastardly Americans invaded. Yes. It got worse before it got better, but it is better - far better, and that is a colossal understatement.

Oh, and lest I forget, that doesn't include the estimated 600,000 Iraqis that were killed by Saddam Hussein during his reign of terror buried in both regular cemeteries and in mass graves, and they are still finding new ones. Nor are we talking about the horrific torture that took place in the Abu Ghraib prison under Saddam's orders. We're only talking about the ones that were lucky enough to escape the country.

So Balb, if you haven't done so already, I would highly recommend you read the Euston Manifesto, a position paper produced by prominent leftists, those who still have a modicum of principle and humanity in their souls. Even the prominent British leftist, William Shawcross, supported the war, much to the chagrin of his fellow leftists, and had this to say about Iraq's most recent election:
"...the transformation is extraordinary. The give and take of politics now exists in a country which, under Saddam, was described as “a concentration camp above ground and a mass grave beneath”".
Not to mention that booze soaked leftist icon and hero of mine, Christopher Hitchens.

You'll find a link to the Euston Manifesto in the sidebar right here at Stubble Jumping Redneck, under the heading "Good Stuff". Hurry, now. Before your head explodes.

Over to you.


Blogger Balbulican said...

"Not so with Balbulican, though, that lover of autocracy and author of this nasty missive..."

Uh - Louise, honey? I didn't write that.

Can you spot the difference between these words: "BALBULICAN" (that's me), and "STAGELEFT"? That's the guy who wrote the post you're taking exception to.

Somehow your ability to mistake former TV weathermen for climate scientists and neocon American bloggers for "Muslims Against Sharia" just became comprehensible.

March 16, 2010 1:05 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home