23 May Cultivating Iraqi Lackeys
May 23, 2003
By Peyton Knight
The critics from the left have weighed in (and continue to weigh in). Their rants range from the absurd to the dishonest. “No blood for oil.” “Drop Bush, not bombs.” “Down with American imperialism.” “Save Iraq from America.” “America = tyrants.” Such thought-provoking snippets of wisdom remain lost on educated America (save for a few Democratic presidential candidates).
But now we’re beginning to hear an echo in Iraq. “Leave our country, we want peace.” “No to America, no to Saddam, no to tyranny.” “The Americans just want our oil.” Indeed, the Iraqis have learned well from their coaches in America.
Before I delve any further, allow me the following disclaimer: This is neither an endorsement, nor a condemnation of the war on Iraq. The war happened and now we must analyze the current situation.
It is rather odd that a people who suffered for decades under a brutal, torturous regime would slap the hands of their liberators. How very strange that the initial jubilation during those first minutes of freedom in Baghdad, would fade so quickly to accusations and skepticism toward the United States and its “intentions.” Such resentment might be expected after a longer duration of U.S. occupancy, yet this honeymoon ended more quickly than a Hollywood marriage. All to the glee of the political left.
The failure of peace and democracy in Iraq has become the battle cry of U.S. leftists. These are the folks who think that America has much to learn from third-world socialists and dictators. After all, the way they see it, Saddam Hussein’s regime was hardly raping the earth’s resources like Bush’s America. Rather, Saddam limited his raping to Iraqi women, which was a great relief to the global warming alarmists at the United Nations. As U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix, told his core constituency during an MTV interview: “To me the question of the environment is more ominous than that of peace and war…I’m more worried about global warming than I am of any major military conflict.” It is in this regard that leftists consider the United States the most evil country in the world.
Their slogans, rantings and disingenuous proclamations are not contained by the borders of America. Europe hears them, Iraq hears them and the world hears them. The left knows this, and they are eager to prey upon ignorance and skepticism around the globe. Not content to work within the framework of the U.S. population and political system, the left is actively cultivating anti-American constituencies in the international community. They are doing this because in today’s world, pressure from other nations weighs heavily on both the foreign and domestic policy decisions of the U.S. government. If you can’t convince a majority of freedom-loving Americans to join your cause, then spark the anti-American ire of the rest of the world. This has become the left’s strategy in Iraq and the Middle East.
Every single Iraqi knows two things: fear government and hate America. This is no fault of their own, just the result of a lifetime of iron fists and brainwashing under the Hussein regime. The political left seeks to exploit these sentiments. This strategy is not limited to the purple-haired, trust-fund kids marching (or laying down as the case may be) in the streets. When asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer whether the Iraqi people were better off now than they were under Saddam Hussein, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean responded: “We don’t know that yet. We don’t know that yet, Wolf. We still have a country whose city is mostly without electricity. We have tumultuous occasions in the south where there is no clear governance. We have a major city without clear governance.” In other words: “Sure, Saddam Hussein was no picnic, but wait until Iraq gets a dose American ‘imperialism’—they’ll long for the random beheadings.” Howard Dean and his party know that a short campaign in Iraq followed by democracy and peace in the region equals political death for them. Therefore, they will do and say even the unthinkable to prevent such a scenario.
To disagree with America’s war in Iraq is certainly acceptable. However, to employ speech intentionally designed to arouse Middle Eastern anger against the United States is unconscionable. Equating Saddam’s terror regime with power outages does not make for honest discourse. Rather, it emboldens true enemies of the U.S. to take direct action against American soldiers and citizens. This is what the left wants. After all, such atrocities would add credibility to their pre-war warnings and damage the “capitalist machine” they so vehemently despise.
Those on the right would do well to examine the political animal that the left has become. They have taken their campaign overseas in hopes of breeding anti-American hatred—and it’s working. (798 words)
Peyton Knight is legislative director of the American Policy Center.