Friday, March 04, 2005

Wrong but right 

Mark Steyn strikes again (hat tips: Sophie Masson and Dan Foty):

"The other day in the Guardian Martin Kettle wrote: 'The war was a reckless, provocative, dangerous, lawless piece of unilateral arrogance. But it has nevertheless brought forth a desirable outcome which would not have been achieved at all, or so quickly, by the means that the critics advocated, right though they were in most respects.'

"Very big of you, pal. And I guess that's as close to a mea culpa as we're going to get: even though Bush got everything wrong, it turned out right. Funny how that happens, isn't it? In a few years' time, they'll have it down pat - just like they have with Eastern Europe. Oh, the Soviet bloc [the Middle East thugocracies] was bound to collapse anyway. Nothing to do with that simpleton Ronnie Raygun [Chimpy Bushitler]. In fact, all Raygun [Chimpy] did was delay the inevitable with his ridiculous arms build-up [illegal unprovoked Halliburton oil-grab], as many of us argued at the time: see my 1984 column 'Yuri Andropov, The Young, Smart, Sexy New Face Of Soviet Communism' [see the April 2004 Spectator column 'Things Were Better Under Saddam: The coalition has destroyed Baathism, says Rod Liddle, and with it all hopes of the emergence of secular democracy' - and yes, that really ran in these pages, on 17 April, not 1 April.]"
In the fine tradition of "fake but accurate", Bush has been "wrong but right". But Steyn is right, this meme won't catch on among the left because it requires an admission that something, somewhere, to do with George W Bush is going well, even if unintentionally. Watch out for the more popular responses, like "what happened in the Middle East had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq", or better still, "nothing to see here! move on to the next crisis."

A few days ago, Comedy Central's
Jon Stewart shared with us his greatest nightmare: "[Bush]'s gonna be a great--pretty soon, Republicans are gonna be like, 'Reagan was nothing compared to this guy.' Like, my kid's gonna go to a high school named after him, I just know it." Stewart has nothing to fear; the left will insure that no matter what the magnitude of Bush's achievement, the memory of it will be downplayed, marginalized and exorcised - just like before. And Stewart Jr. will end up going to Madeleine Albright High.

"With hindsight, the fellow travellers were let off far too easily when the Iron Curtain fell like a discarded burka. Little more than a decade later, they barely hesitated a moment before jumping in on the wrong side of history yet again - and this time without the excuse that the ideological virtues of communism had merely gone awry in practice. It's hard to make that argument about Islamism or Baathism."
And the same people who only a few years ago argued the inherent stability - and the desirability of that stability - in the Middle East will now write that it didn't come as a surprise at all that the whole thing collapsed like a house of cards.

As Steyn writes, "Not in your name? Don't worry, it's not."


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