Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, December 30, 2005

A paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox....

If you're only going to read one thing today, you might want to read this Victor Davis Hanson article which takes on an intriguing modern paradox: the more Bush is successful in defending us from terrorism at home and in defeating the dictatorship in Iraq, the more he is reviled on the Left. There is, of course, the obvious point that a party out of power is always going to hate with extra energy the party in power, if the latter is successful. Hanson sees more subtle reasons, too. For example:

[T]here is a sort of arrogant smugness that has taken hold in the West at large. Read the papers about an average day in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Detroit, or even in smaller places like Fresno. The headlines are mostly the story of mayhem — murder, rape, arson, and theft. Yet, we think Afghanistan is failing or Iraq hopeless when we watch similar violence on television, as if they do such things and we surely do not. We denigrate the Iraqis' trial of Saddam Hussein — as if the Milosevic legal circus or our own O.J. trial were models of jurisprudence. Still, who would have thought that poor Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, a mass-murdering half-brother of Saddam Hussein, would complain that Iraqi television delayed lived feeds of his daily outbursts by whimpering, "If the sound is cut off once again, then I don't know about my comrades but I personally won't attend again. This is unjust and undemocratic." A greater percentage of Iraqis participated in their elections after two years of consensual government than did Americans after nearly 230 years of practice. It is chic now to deprecate the Iraqi security forces, but they are doing a lot more to kill jihadists than the French or Germans who often either wire terrorists money, sell them weapons, or let them go. For what it's worth, I'd prefer to have one Jalal Talabani or Iyad Allawi on our side than ten Jacques Chiracs or Gerhard Schroeders.
As I said, if you have time for only one article today, I suggest you make it this one.