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The Left and Iraq

03/27/03 12:00AM By Libby Sternberg
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(Host) Commentator Libby Sternberg says that for those whose anti-war sentiments may be colored by their distrust of President Bush, there are other perspectives worth considering.

(Sternberg) You don't have to trust just President George Bush when it comes to Iraq. You can listen to Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is leader of Great Britain's Labor Party, the liberal wing of the government there. Blair has been risking his political future by backing Bush's approach, and Blair was privy to the same information that Bush had on the dangers of "giving peace a chance." Blair has said, by the way, that Bush's critics have created a "parody" of the American president.

In September of last year, Blair also said, "There is a tendency for the world to say to America, 'the big problems of the world are yours, you go and sort them out,' and then to worry when America wants to sort them out. And as I say, the question that should be put right round the world at the moment is: Can you afford to allow Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime, knowing what we know of them, knowing how many hundreds of thousands of people they have killed, can you allow them to carry on developing biological, chemical, potentially nuclear capability?"

If Blair is a little too moderate for you, try Christopher Hitchens, a vocal critic of the anti-war crowd and "no fan of Mr. Bush," as the London Telegraph recently dubbed him. Yet, says the Telegraph, Hitchens argues persuasively that the anti-war Left is helping to preserve a "fascist regime" in Iraq. Hitchens himself puts his critique of the anti-war Left this way: "We find among the Left now a sort of smirking isolationism. In this moral universe, the views of Jacques Chirac - who built Saddam Hussein a nuclear reactor, knowing what he wanted it for - carry more weight than those of persecuted Iraqi democrats."

Those words are from a commentary published last October 20 in the Washington Post in which Hitchens says he looks forward to the day that Iraq is free. "When that day comes," he writes, "I am booked to have a reunion in Baghdad with several old comrades who have been through hell. We shall not be inviting anyone who spent this precious time urging democratic countries to give Saddam another chance."

Perhaps after the valiant efforts of coalition forces, he'll be able to have that reunion in the not-too-distant future.

This is Libby Sternberg in Rutland.

Libby Sternberg is a free-lance writer, former chair of the Rutland County Republican Party, and is active in education issues.
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