Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The moral equivalence of the day 

Today's award goes to Clare Short, the former international development secretary in the British Labour Cabinet. In a recent interview, Ms Short has condemned killing civilians but declared the Iraqi insurgent's case to be just: "I understand the anger and the demand for action and it's not good enough for the world to say state violence is OK and non-state violence is not OK," said Short, who last year resigned from the Cabinet in protest over Tony Blair's position on Iraq.

Short might indeed understand the anger in Iraq, but she has problems understanding history:

"The American public fought against British colonialism with violence, the free French fought against German occupation with violence, the Palestinian people are entitled to resist occupation. I mean, it's in international law [and] the Iraqi people are entitled [to resist occupation]."
The far left never tires of making these comparisons and I never tire of pointing out how odious and ignorant they are. The American revolutionaries fought to set up a parliament of their own and to give the people of the colonies constitutionally guaranteed freedoms - of conscience, of speech, of association - as well as rights, not the least, to pursue happiness. The French fought against the vile Nazi totalitarianism and to restore their liberal parliamentary democracy. "The Iraqi people" - many of whom are not actually Iraqi - who are "resisting" the "occupation", at best want a return to a socialist Sunni dictatorship where the Kurds were gassed, prisons kept full, and people like Short, who resigned from the Cabinet over a difference of opinion with the leader, buried in unmarked graves. At worst, they want to create a new Talibanesque Iraq, where Short would be a second-class burqa-clad citizen whose daughters wouldn't be able to get education, whose homosexual friends would be stoned to death, and whose own parliamentary career would be sadly cut short by the lack of parliament.

It takes a mental age of three to notice that some things ("the French shooting guns at foreign troops" and "the Iraqis shooting guns at foreign troops", for example) are alike; it takes a moral age of three to maintain that they are therefore the equally valid and commendable.


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