I don’t understand the Left wing any more. I consider myself on the Left and yet on foreign policy especially, I am labelled a neo-con (as well as an Imperialist who clearly loves to see the bodies of dead Iraqis – seriously, I get that a lot). But I have reasons why I believe my foreign policy views – namely, pro-Iraq/Afghanistan wars, and anti (in its current form)-Palestinian statehood are markedly Left leaning in comparison to those who consider themselves to be on the Galloway-esque anti-war left side of the isle. Those who vehemently opposed the Iraq war, now corner the debate. We are not allowed to present another case, without a barrage of ad hominem attacks.
It would appear to me that the Left wing has been horribly hijacked by the anti-war left. Anti-war is now synonymous with the left wing, though it seems hopelessly insincere in its apparent concern for the innocent people of Iraq and Afghanistan, or mistreated Gazan’s. It is only concerned, when the West is involved. It is anti-Western, anti-American, and based on that framework. The anti-war Left march through the streets of London against intervention in Iraq or Afghanistan. But when the Taliban unleashed the harshest form of Sharia in history; closing theatres, banning music and TV, and restricting an otherwise progressive and liberalised Afghanistan population of women who had embraced ‘Westernised’ fashion and culture, to their homes, behind veils, and enforced it through cruel punishments and barbaric 7th century ‘justice’ publicly executing women in the street…. the anti-war Left is eerily silent.
Which makes me wonder…. what is the point of the Left internationally any more? What do they stand for? They have become non-interventionist, based on the ‘sovereignty’ of National borders, regardless of the horrors within those borders…. which is a traditional conservative approach to foreign policy historically (George Bush, incidentally, before 9/11 was a non-interventionist conservative).
But beneath the thin veil of concern and care, lies a rabid anti-Americanism. With this spirit of anti-Americanism comes the usual suspects within a rhetorical framework of rough conjecture and just outright conspiratorial lunacy that undermines the Left substantially. The rhetorical framework is simple:
America – World’s largest terrorist organisation.
Military industrial complex.
Those are the five main components of anti-war rhetoric. And they have become synonymous with left wing rhetoric. There is no room for debate. All debate must be based on that framework. The framework itself, seems untouchable. They express outrage at the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, referring to the former President rather ridiculously as a new Hitler or they call for Blair to be tried as a war criminal, and then laugh without irony as manic right wingers refer to Obama as Stalin. Both are ludicrous positions to hold. Their anti-Bush, anti-Blair, anti-American, everything-the-West-does-is-for-oil, with a “the enemy of Bush/Blair/America is my friend” position on every conflict lacks context, lacks understanding of the situation at hand, the history of the events that lead to conflict, and quite tellingly of all, the anti-war left fails to provide any substantial alternative for military action against a country like Iraq under Saddam or Afghanistan under Mullah Omar. They are anti-sanctions and anti-intervention. What answer do they provide? Nothing.
I happen to believe that liberal democracy, secularism – along with rights that absolutely transcend cultures, the abuses of which cannot be defended in any meaningful way – is something to be fought for, and supported by those who can. The Left must support and defend those who fight for freedoms across the World. We must not forgive Fascism simply because it is shrouded in ‘faith’.
Their idols are familiar to us all, and yet severely lacking in integrity. I could again point to the inadequacies of Michael Moore and why his diatribes are damaging to the left due to their fundamental inconsistencies, manipulations, and out right lies. I have already done this once and so wont go into detail, though it can be seen here. I will however reiterate a point I made in that article, that Moore and the Left use to justify their non-interventionist position, it being that Saddam posed no threat to the US, and had never attacked the US. Moore makes this claim in Fahrenheit 9/11. It is often said that Iraq was a war of aggression against a nation that posed no threat. There are two worrying points to be made here:
Firstly, It is simply not true that Saddam posed no threat or hadn’t attacked the US. The suggestion that Saddam’s Iraq were innocent victims of an aggressive imperialist state, is nonsense, and yet no one actually knows this. In the 1980s Saddam had protected terrorist Abu Nidal. Seven Americans died when Nidal’s men, on Nidal’s orders attacked Pan AM Flight 73 in 1986. Nidal killed Israelis, and was one of the World’s most wanted terrorists. He also lived in Iraq from 1999 until his death in 2002. There is absolutely no way Saddam did not know about this. Iraq under Saddam, as posited by Samir al-Khalil in ‘Republic of Fear’ was a State in perpetual terror and very closely monitored by the government.
Did Saddam have ties to Bin Laden? There is no evidence to suggest that’s true. Was his regime a threat in others ways as well as providing support to Nidal? Yes. Uday Hussain’s media organisation printed constant threats, promoting attacks on the lives of any British or American civilians that Iraqi’s might come in contact with:
“American and British interests, embassies, and naval ships in the Arab region should be the targets of military operations and commando attacks by Arab political forces.”
- The fact is, Saddam’s regime, as a Nation was not powerful enough to attack the UK or US. They didn’t have the means, they didn’t have the WMDs. But they had the power and the network to finance and control terrorist attacks, to support terrorists like Nidal, and to promote fascist intolerence and violence against anyone who wasn’t like them.
They killed 5000 in Halabja. They’re responsible for 40,000 more deaths, of their own people. This regime was totalitarian, dangerous, murderous, and fascist.
Let us also not forget that whilst the anti-war Left insist that the Iraq war was ‘illegal’ because it had no UNSC backing (given that the security council insisted on recognising the Khmer Rouge as the rightful rulers of Cambodia, for twenty years after the genocide, they’re hardly to be considered the guardians of law…. and also, they’re not the guardians of law… they are a policy making body), we cannot ignore the fact that as part of the Genocide Convention, the UN had a duty to step in and remove Saddam from power. It is a legal obligation, in the midst of, or after a genocide has taken place. Which in Iraq, it had. Article II of the Act states:
Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
- Parts A, B, C Saddam had met.
Article IV states:
Article IV: Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.
Article VIII states:
Article VIII: Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III.
- It is my opinion, that genocide is the responsibility of the entire World, to put an end to. It is also my opinion that a leader loses his right to sovereignty the moment he commits genocide.
The Anti-War Left was again eerily silent in trying to enforce the UN Genocide Convention’s wishes whilst Saddam was wiping out the Kurdish minority in Halabja. And again with the Marsh Arabs. Two genocides they ignored. It is shameful but it is defended by a simplistic attack on the US. “They funded Saddam”. Well then they have a duty more so than any, to put a stop to it.
Interestingly, genocide most certainly took place in Bosnia in the 90s. And Britain’s initial non-interventionist policy cost lives. When we did eventually come to a consensus to intervene, a lot of the damage had been done. The US Ambassador to Nato, Robert Hunter noted:
“The failure of Nato to reach agreement on serious military action, can be attributed to the efforts of one allied nation: Great Britain.”
- The source of that failure by the UK, was the government’s non-intervention ideals of the time. That’s right. The anti-war left won, on this occasion. Rifkind, the Defence, and then Foreign secretary at the time, had the nerve when confronted by Bob Dole – a man injured during WWII, to say:
“You Americans don’t know the horrors of war”
- Anti-war, ignorant, and anti-American all in one. The Anti-war Left must be proud.
Whilst we were dithering over intervention policy, Srebrenica suffered 8000 deaths. Described by the International Criminal Tribunal as:
“They [members of the Bosnian Serb army] stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity.”
- How on Earth is this any different from what Saddam was doing, and how does anyone read it without a desperate need to stop it? The Al-Anfal Campaign; including mass executions, chemical attacks, and an attempt at wiping out an entire group of people (again, genocide and again, entirely ignored by the anti-war left) is no different to the massacres committed in Bosnia.
Non-interventionism has its consequences also. For those insisting that those of us who supported the invasion are responsible for innocent deaths, I say; you are no different. You were indirectly arguing for the prolonging of one of the worst dictatorships the World has known, in the name of some very insular version of “peace” that you have going on. It is a weakness of the mind to tell me how many innocent people died, whilst not considering how many would have continued to be tortured and killed had the regime been allowed to remain. Unless of course, you believe Saddam may have had a change of heart, and stopped his reign of murder. In which case, you’re deluded.
The left has to make a choice; does it support and defend liberal democracy, or does it tacitly, and blindly allow fascism simply because we ‘must respect other cultures’? Because right now, in the aftermath of Iraq, and with the growth of anti-war sentiment it seems to me that the anti-fascist left of the 1970s and 1980s, the guys who marched arm in arm outside the American embassy in London with Kurdish anti-Saddam rebels, the guys who wanted Saddam deposed as opposed to supported and propped up by the West, have become the 21st century fascist apologetics, and have abandoned their Kurdish allies. They make every excuse for horrifying acts of human rights abuses, all in their quest to insist that Blair is a modern day Hitler. They storm the streets as part of the ‘Unite Against Fascism’ movement in which they oppose home grown fascism in the guise of the utterly putrid EDL, yet have absolutely no concern with the growing Taliban fascist insurgency in Afghanistan. Nor do the UAF seem to equate the sentiments of militant Islam (and to an extent, ‘moderate’ Islam) with Fascism.
As noted in a previous article on the links between Islam and Fascism, I wrote;
If you go to the UAF website and search “Tommy Robinson” the leader of the EDL, you get countless articles attacking him. And rightly so. The man is a nazi. But, if you type the name “Anjem Choudhary“, you get no results whatsoever. Choudary is an anti-Westerner (but who doesn’t live in Islamic fundamentalist countries, choosing instead to live in the West he so hates) who will refer to Muslims in war torn countries as “brothers and sisters“. I hear that a lot. It’s a rather curious sentiment, because these people didn’t seem to quick to jump to the difference of the “brothers and sisters” when Iraq was run by the Hussein crime family. Or when Afghanistan was under the heavy hand of the Taliban. I am lead to the conclusion that the terms “brothers and sisters”, used as some sort of show of solidarity, is a mask. It seems to show support for individuals, yet what it is actually suggesting is that when you’re killed or tortured under a Islamic fundamentalist regime, it is fine, because you are simply a sacrifice in the name of the perpetuation of Islamic rule. Motive is important here. When Islamic regimes kill their own people, and their “brothers” in the UK keep quiet, the regimes notice that they can get away with it. No one seems to care. We must ‘respect’ the cultural differences that lead to genocide. When Saddam took out Halabja, there was very little condemnation in Western countries. No huge anti-Saddam protests through London. Saddam killed thousands on purpose. If an American bomb hits the wrong target, and kills innocents; suddenly Muslims in the UK come out in force against Western “imperialism“. Here is what Choudhary said on BBC Hardtalk:
Look, at the end of the day innocent people—when we say ‘innocent people’ we mean Muslims—as far as non-Muslims are concerned they have not accepted Islam and as far as we are concerned that is a crime against God.
- Fascism. But not according to the UAF.
The situation under Saddam. In 2002, an EU sponsored resolution adopted by the Commission for Human Rights noted:
“….systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.”
- Apparently not enough to warrant an overthrow, according to the anti-war Left. Maybe some more from the Commission on Human Rights might sway them?:
“….summary and arbitrary executions… and the use of rape as a political tool and all enforced and involuntary disappearances.”
- The use of rape. Rape. As a Political tool.
So, that’s……. rape, genocide, torture, enforced disappearances, threats, and the murder of children. But apparently, still not enough to warrant overthrowing. And yet, the anti-war left cry “peace” whilst ignoring all of it. Disgusting.
We often hear Iraq described as a ‘sovereign nation’ whose sovereignty was invaded by America. But as a leftie, I’d say sovereignty comes with responsibilities. The responsibility not to kill 40,000 of your own people. The responsibility not to have the entire population living in fear and suspicion. Once those responsibilities have been endlessly breached, once every UN resolution has been pissed on, then you lose your right to sovereignty. There was no country on Earth, in 2003, whose leader had lost his right to sovereignty more than Saddam Hussain.
And then there’s George Galloway. Hero of the ‘Stop The War Coalition’. His appearance in front of the US Senate is legendary. And yet, as apologists for fascist regimes go, he tops the list.
Galloway said in 2010 that he was always opposed to the Saddam regime. And yet, he’s on video meeting Saddam and saying
“I salute your courage, your strength, and everyone I have spoken to about meeting you wanted me to convey our heartfelt support”.
His idea of what makes a terrorist is simple. US/UK/UN = terrorists. Anything else = bravery. This apparent ‘bravery’ includes the blowing up of the UN building in Baghdad with military grade explosives, which was one of the “operations” of the “resistance” that Galloway called heroic. And who claimed responsibility for that attack? Abu al-Zarqawi. This operation killed de Mello. One of the World’s great humanitarians. And Zarqawi had him killed, not for his support of any war, but simply because he helped free East Timor from fundamentalist hands. Or in the words of the great “resistance”……. “a crusader that extracted part of Islamic land”. This has nothing to do with ‘imperialism’ (by the way, referring to a conquered area as ‘Islamic land’ is the very epitome of ‘imperialism’) or oil…. it is to do with mad religious fanatics who cannot cope with modernity, and liberalism because it threatens the power of their crazed religion. The great ‘resistence’ lead by al-Zarqawi also included the execution of US peace corps hero Laurence Foley. A man who dedicated his life to international aid work in India, in the Phillipines, in Bolivia, Peru, Zimbabwe, and Jordan. Galloway should be ashamed. But that isn’t all he should be ashamed of.
Galloway’s praising of the operations that killed American Soldier Casey Sheehan (calling them the ‘resistance’ again….. following the usual US/UK/UN = bad, anything else=bravery logic), and then going on anti-war marches with the kids mother, is a disgrace. And yet, that still isn’t all he should be ashamed of. As if being an apologetic for the ‘courage’ of Saddam, or the ‘bravery’ of people like al-Zarqawi wasn’t enough….
….Let’s also not forget that Galloway has been a long time supporter of Assad. He made a speech in Syria in which he said the Syrians were lucky to have Assad and their great democracy. Seriously. Syria was ranked second bottom for political freedoms in the World at this point. This was in the year before Lebanon gained some independence from the Syrian occupation. Galloway was referring to an illegal occupation force in the region as a ‘great democracy’. America helped to push through a UN resolution calling for the Syrians to pull out of Lebanon. I ask, who were the terrorists and resistance in that conflict?
More left leaning anti-war intellectuals choose to ignore Moore as a ‘film maker’ who needs to sensationalise. The problem is, he presents as fact, and a crowd who are just itching for some form of anti-American sentiment to latch onto, have found it, without questioning it. The anti-war intellectual class seem to be more inclined to give their ultimate praise to someone like Noam Chomsky. He’s a sort of hero of the university anti-war left.
At university, during a talk on ‘credible sources’ for thesis writing, our Professor told us that quoting Michael Moore would obviously not be acceptable, but quoting Chomsky would. I asked why. Chomsky to me seems to be a ‘thinking man’s’ Michael Moore. A bit more in-depth analysis, though still (if not more so than Moore) supremely misleading, and deliberately excluding facts, a man who absolutely cannot apply context to any situation beyond “American imperialism, for oil” and who has not written a single critical piece on the Saddam regime, nor the Taliban regime, a man who long ago became a holocaust denier, and apologist for the most evil regimes on Earth. Chomsky simply chooses to spout any mindless and ultimately inaccurate scare tactic to engage the already anti-American left into thinking they’ve found a faultless intellectual hero who wouldn’t lie to them. It is of course, nonsense. He has frequently lied. Let me give you an example.
We often criticise the far right for their irritatingly uniformed promotion of holocaust denial. Nick Griffin of the BNP famously decided the West had drastically over estimated the number of those killed in gas chambers in Nazi Germany, as part of a propaganda machine. We note holocaust denial as being a strong far right principle. But the left should also look closer to home. Chomsky presents sources as ‘credible’ and it seems to make his writing more plausible, and yet he once cited in an essay written at a time when the Khmer Rouge had killed at least 1,000,000 people
The response to the three books under review nicely illustrates this selection process. Hildebrand and Porter present a carefully documented study of the destructive American impact on Cambodia and the success of the Cambodian revolutionaries in overcoming it, giving a very favorable picture of their programs and policies, based on a wide range of sources.”
- The cited authors in question once stated that:
“the notion that the leadership of Democratic Kampuchea adopted a policy of physically eliminating whole classes of people was a myth fostered primarily by the authors of a Readers Digest book.”
- The problem here is that, they were entirely wrong. What Chomsky called “a carefully documented study” and “based on a wide range of sources” was actually based on a couple of visits to Cambodia, and their sources were almost entirely based on official Khmer Rough sources. A few years later, George Porter accepted he was wrong, and that the Khmer Rouge were responsible for millions of deaths. Chomsky never admitted his mistake in citing such weak authors. Chomsky goes on to defend the book, and seems to suggest a media conspiracy to keep it hidden from public view (rather than the fact that its premise, was based on really terrible research):
Published last year, and well received by the journal of the Asia Society, it has not been reviewed in the Times, New York Review or any mass-media publication, nor used as the basis for editorial comment, with one exception. The Wall Street Journal acknowledged its existence in an editorial entitled “Cambodia Good Guys”, which dismissed contemptuously the very idea that the Khmer Rouge could play a constructive role, as well as the notion that the United States had a major hand in the destruction, death and turmoil of wartime and postwar Cambodia.
- This one quote represents to me, the very epitome of what is wrong with the left wing today. It has become so manically anti-American that it has become an apologist for some of the most horrific totalitarian regimes on the planet, and that really doesn’t sit well with me. Chomsky is ignoring the millions of people who were systematically wiped out by the Khmer Rouge, as opposed to fighting them, as a left wing should be. This trend continued right up until today.
Similarly, in the “New War Against Terror” lecture in 2001 to M.I.T that:
Western civilization is anticipating the slaughter of, well do the arithmetic, 3-4 million people or something like that [in Afghanistan]… Looks like what’s happening is some sort of silent genocide… we are in the midst of apparently trying to murder 3 or 4 million people.
- In fact, Unicef claimed the opposite. They point out that the intervention saved the lives of around 112,000 lives of children at risk from Taliban killings in the east of Afghanistan, whilst saving millions who would have otherwise died of starvation due to bad harvests that the Taliban had absolutely no plan for. Catherine Bertini, executive director of the UN World Food Program told the World that famine would be avoided because of the massive amounts of wheat (the biggest delivery in history) that year. During the war, the Taliban banned the World Food Program from the country for more than three months, creating conditions in which 6 million people were in dire need of food.
Bertini (not part of some hideous Western conspiracy to hide the Chomsky-truth) continues:
“There will be deaths, because the country was in a pre-famine condition this summer before the war started. But it will be isolated, and not large-scale.”
- Chomsky, again, doesn’t admit that he was wrong. His comments are still used as some sort of proof of the destructive nature of the US, yet the massive amount of aid that went into providing 90,000 tonnes of wheat, preventing a famine, goes unrecognised. The left should be proud of that achievement.
We should not take a man seriously, who, in the middle of his book “The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism: The Political Economy of Human Rights” states that:
“Washington has become the torture and political murder capital of the world”.
- How ignorant. How conspiratorial and desperately narrow-minded. And mostly, how shameful.
Michael Moore – Apologist for Saddam, claiming he was no threat, had never threatened an American or attacked America. Anti-American undertones to all political diatribe.
Galloway – Apologise for Saddam, terrorists like al-Zarqawi and heads of State like Assad. Anti-American undertones to all political diatribe.
Chomsky – Apologist for the Khmer Rouge and completely ignorant of the extremities of fascist governments. Anti-American undertones to all political diatribe.
These are the heroes of the anti-war Left.
The heroes on the anti-war Left; whether they be a film maker who just emits facts to create entertainment, or be they ‘intellectuals’ who use weak research to boost their credentials, and over exaggerations to scare people, have made me deeply disenfranchised with the Left when it comes to foreign policy. What use is the Left if it spends its time only criticising its own governments (which is perfectly acceptable, and necessary; providing its criticisms are factual and not simply a manipulatory more intellectually sounding critique based on conspiracy, weak research, and ‘entertainment’) , without providing any sort of context for each individual conflict and burying them all under the same banner of ‘imperialism’ and ‘oil’. What use if the Left if it ignores the plight of millions of people enduring their entire lives under totalitarian and deeply fascist systems. Where is the solidarity? The sense of brotherhood? Why have the Left become increasingly Nationalistic in their sense of justice? “Sovereign nation”, “our troops”… all rhetorical devices to mask the horrendous human rights violations, on such grand scales, committed by the very nations they wish we just left alone, and understood the ‘cultural differences’ between us. Again, the Left needs to make a choice…. do we support democratic principles and provide our backing for democratic uprisings and revolutions (we can do this, without demanding military intervention; a point that seems to allude the anti-war left who insist I am calling for the bombing of every non-democratic state on the planet), or do we keep hailing those who are simply apologists for totalitarian regimes as our political heroes. Do we accept democracy is necessary, or do we ‘understand’ that regimes on the far extremes are ‘culturally’ acceptable (despite the majority of the populations of those countries living in perpetual fear of torture and death). Reinhold Niebuhr, the great American leftie (but neo-con by today’s anti-war Left standards) once said, quite rightly:
“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”
- The Left, by my standards must fight for democracy; because in doing so it fights for justice, human decency, and political freedoms that we have always so strongly advocated. We must abhor Chomsky’s defence of the Khmer Rouge, we must shudder with disdain at Galloway telling Saddam that we admire him. We must fight to keep religion out of politics. It is poison. And we must never, as a Left wing that believes in social justice and humanitarian principles, allow a Taliban regime to control Afghanistan ever again. We must be the side that fights for democratic rights, social rights – regardless of race, gender, and sexuality – and economic protections. We must criticise our governments where necessary, but also be absolutely strong and resolute in our opposition to all forms of fascism, and determined to see it eradicated. That must be the call of the Left in the 21st Century. Not anti-war, for the sake of being anti-American.
We do not hear the positives that came from the war. We do not hear of the wonderful work being undertaken by Left Wing groups in Iraq now determined to create a stable, liberal, democratic society.
Yanar Mohammed, the Iraqi Feminist and head of “Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq” moved back to Iraq after self imposed exile for fear of her life, after the invasion by coalition troops. Her group now fights against sexual slavery and forced prostitution. It provides safe houses for victims of domestic abuse and those threatened with honour killings. She claims to have saved 30 women from honour killings. Under Saddam, those 30 killings would have taken place, and there would be nowhere for victims of domestic abuse or sexual slavery inside Iraq to turn to. At Saddam’s trial, a woman who didn’t wish to be identified testified against the Dictator, stating:
“I was beaten up and tortured by electrical shocks, I begged them, but they hit with their pistols. They made me put my legs up. There were five or more, and they treated me like a banquet.
The woman was 16 at the time. Where were the cries of outrage from the anti-war Left? From an apparently caring Left? How many actually knew of this?
Yanar Mohammed is pushing for the de-baathistisation of the Country’s attitudes to women. Another step in the right direction, and a signal that Iraq is far better off without Saddam or the Baath Party. The international Left should be recognising people like Yanar Mohammed and helping her cause, rather than focusing on endless criticism of America.
Azzam Alwash is the director of “Nature Iraq“, the Country’s first and only Environmental organisation. He is working to restore the marshes of Southern Iraq. The beautiful region, full of wildlife and natural wonder, considered by some to be the “cradle of civilisation” and the Garden of Eden, was destroyed by Saddam. The Marsh Arabs had supported a Shiite uprising against Saddam in the early 1990s. The marsh Arabs had lived in floating huts on a plethora of canals that were divided between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Saddam had thousands of the marsh Arabs tortured and killed, and their livestock slaughtered. The huts were burned, and the water was poisoned. As many as 500,000 fled the attack. Land mines were placed in and around the marshes to make sure no one would go back. For centuries the marshes of Southern Iraq were teeming with wildlife and aquatic life. After 1990, it was baron, drained, poisoned, and covered in land mines. The UN in 2001 named it as one of the greatest environmental disasters of all time. Alwash intends to re-flood the marshes and restore the wildlife. This would not have been possible under Saddam. Alwash would most likely have been tortured and killed for even suggesting it. The south was one of the places that the Iraqi people were delighted to welcome coalition troops in 2003.
So, if the anti-war Left want to describe me as a neo-con, then I wear that badge with honour, whilst knowing that my anti-fascism is far more in keeping with the traditional resolute left wing solidarity with the most oppressed people in the World, than the apologists who make excuses and lies for the atrocities committed by the governments they work so tirelessly to protect.