Posts from November 2003

Iraq: a liberal cause

Iraq: a liberal cause
: Tom Friedman, bless him, finally comes out today and says what I’ve been saying for a long time:

The ouster of the tyrant Saddam Hussein was a liberal and humanitarian cause.

And the rebuilding of Iraq is a liberal cause.

But liberals don’t know it.

…this war is the most important liberal, revolutionary U.S. democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan. The primary focus of U.S. forces in Iraq today is erecting a decent, legitimate, tolerant, pluralistic representative government from the ground up. I don’t know if we can pull this off. We got off to an unnecessarily bad start. But it is one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad and it is a moral and strategic imperative that we give it our best shot….

On Iraq, there has to be more to the left than anti-Bushism….

For my money, the right liberal approach to Iraq is to say: We can do it better. Which is why the sign I most hungered to see in London was, “Thanks, Mr. Bush. We’ll take it from here.”

Try telling that to the liberals running for president.

: UPDATE: Jack Balkin, good liberal, agrees with Friedman that we must fix up Iraq but then he cops out, saying that Bush will not listen. Jack, when did that ever stop anyone from putting pressure on? That’s what we should be doing. Instead of continuing to carp, we should be demanding the best path to democracy in Iraq:

: Putting pressure on to have more troops, not fewer, to bring security to Iraq.

: Putting pressure on the U.N. to send more troops from more nations to show support for democracy in Iraq.

: Putting pressure on companies to be ready to invest in Iraq.

: Putting pressure on Arab nations to disavow the terrorism — yes, terrorism — that is targeting Iraqi civilians and not only military but also civilian workers from other countries.

Rather than just carping, liberals should be demanding that the president — but first, their presidential candidates — do more to grow democracy and civilization in Iraq and the Middle East.

There’s plenty we can do, Jack, plenty.

The speed of blog

The speed of blog
: Way back on Nov. 19, Hit & Run’s weblog broke the silly master/slave meme (in which a doofus California bureaucrat who should be unemployed by now sends out a memo instructing people involved with computers not to call devices masters or slaves because it violates the supreme law of the age — it’s offensive).

The story finally got picked up by the AP — and, in turn the Chicago Tribune — today.

See, guys, if you’d been reading weblogs, you could have stolen that story far sooner.


: I’m flattered to be plotted in the map of the Commonwealth of Blogosphere States.

A deft touch

A deft touch
: I never cease to be amused at the utter lack of humor, subtlety, and irony in Larry Lessig’s “work.” The mere title of his latest book says it all: “Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity.” I’m working on my biography: “Lawrence Lessig: How a Professor Manages to Use a Sledgehammer To Keep Beating Home The Point That He Just Hates Media and Will Not Stop Until The Horse Is Dead, I Tell You, Dead, Really Dead.”

Through dung-colored glasses

Through dung-colored glasses
: It has come to this: Atrios quoting Juan Cole. I have made a sport of reading Cole. There is not other weblog or news source anywhere this side of Pyongyang that is more one-sided. Cole does nothing but nothing all day but find every negative thing he can find that happened in Iraq today. A soldier killed. A pothole opened. Whatever. He made his point months ago. But like the most boring soul on earth, like a man condemned to his own hell of tedium, he keeps on finding every possible negative link. You can guess his analysis of the Bush trip to Iraq:

Instead, the President had to sneak in and out of Iraq for a quick and dirty photo op, clearly in fear of his life if the news of his visit had leaked. He did not even get time to eat a meal with the troops. He was there for two hours. He did not dare meet with ordinary Iraqis, with the people he had conquered (liberated).

Damned astute, Prof. Cole.

I just can’t tell you how happy I am that I don’t live in Michigan and my tax dollars don’t go to paying for your tenure, you laughable fraud.