Side by side

Side by side
: Pedram takes a very simplistic view of left and right when he continues to insist that I must be a right-wing nut if I supported the ouster of murderous tyrant Saddam Hussein. Says Pedram:

Jeff Jarvis did not like it when I suggested that his views on Iraq puts him in-line with the extreme right. Life is tough. You make your bed, you lay in it. He chose to take those positions and he shall live with that.

One of his commenters responds:

So supporting the ouster of a mass-murdering fascist who launched two unprovoked wars, gassed tens of thousands of people, and executed hundreds of thousands more now makes a person a right-wing extremist?

You know, there was a time when the left castigated the right for supporting characters half as brutal as Saddam (Pinochet, Suharto, Pahlavi, etc.). Yet America is now also criticized by the left when it decides that it’s better not to support such a character. And the French, who sucked up to Saddam in much the same way that America once sucked up to Pinochet and Pahlavi, doing multi-billion dollar oil deals and selling him a nuclear reactor, are praised for being “principled.” Orwell must be laughing in his grave.

First, supporting the war is not necessarily a right-wing stance. I disagreed from the first with Bush’s case for war. To me, it was a humanitarian issue; the more we knew about Saddam Hussein, the more wrong we were to allow him to stay in power. It wasn’t a matter of weapons of mass destruction. It was a matter of mass graves. It was right to get rid of him; it would have been wrong to allow him to continue his tyranny; that is a humanist — a leftist — position.

And one issue does not a rightist or leftist make.

If I’m for gun control and for the war, which am I?

If I’m for freedom of choice and the war, which am I?

If I’m for national health care and the war, which am I?

If I’m against the tax cut and the huge Bush deficit, what am I?

No, Pedram, my friend, the world isn’t as simple as that. Would that it were, but it’s not.