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Miranda's folly « Previous | |Next »
June 22, 2003

I see that Miranda Devine is keeping the culture wars going by having a go at the left. She can hear the gnashing of teeth from the diehard anti-war, anti-Howard brigade across the nation as they watch the victory parades in Sydney as the troops returned home from Iraq. Miranda sees the left sulking in dark corners as the sun shone, the crowds cheered, the troops were grinned, Australian flags were waved, General Peter Cosgrove was a smile on legs and John Howard was mobbed by well-wishers.

She gives the impression that the left are underground, living in shadows and inhabiting rank places. She forgets to mention whether the left still have tattered copies of Dostevoesky's Notes from the Underground in their back pocket.

A little bit of history is needed here. It is best that it comes from the English voice of Emmanuel Goldstein over at Airstrip One He says that the lack of weapons of mass destruction is not the point:

"The point was that Saddam was no threat to us which would have been the case whether or not we find WMDs. At the moment all we need is for them to find a barrel of anthrax somewhere (not even Iraqi anthrax) and suddenly Blair is off the hook. The case against the WMD argument was proved when the Americans took Baghdad without a whiff of mustard gas, if he wasn't going to use them to save his regime he was never going to use them against us."

So much for the history.

Now for the present---the modernising project of the US in Afghanistan. The nation building is not going too well in Afghanistan. The Taliban and al Qai'idea have not been eradicted. They are gathering strength in the mountains, launching guerilla attacks and killing internationals on the main highways. The money for reconstruction of the Afghan nation has not been forthcoming, nor the resources for security. An underfunded President Karzai is isolated in Kabul with the warlords running the provinces. One can ask: is the west walking away from Afghanistan? Is it case of shoot them, wreck the country, then leave them? Is this a case of Western betrayal?

And the current chaos in Iraq? Well Miranda writes about the Iraqi's learning to get used to their freedom. She gives the impression, following George Bush, that they just getting to used to the freedom. They make mistakes because freedom has gone to their heads but things will settle down. But it appears the chaos that this is the freedom of a gang of robbers, given the systematic looting and sabotage. As Debkra File says:

"Oil installations are far more dilapidated than thought, constant prey to organized sabotage and criminal looting. Oil wells and pumping stations have been repeatedly damaged at both the northern and southern oil fields and not only by diehard pro-Saddam guerrillas. Local tribal interests seeking a stake in the oil industry are behind some of the gangs of saboteurs, and looters make off with replacement parts as soon as they are installed.

Plagued most often by the lawlessness are the giant southern field of Rumeila and the Baiji refinery in the north. KBR, a subsidiary of the Texan Haliburton, which is under contract to help US army engineers repair and restore Iraqi oil production, has doubled its costs in one month to $184 million. The months estimated for the project stretch out as the damage continues. "

The chaos is also being caused by a systematic resistance to what is increasingly seen as an American occupation of Iraq.

And so the culture wars continue.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:16 PM | | Comments (0)