Friday, 17 August 2007

Iraqi Quislings

This shameful article by Neil Clark on the Guardian's Comment is Free site has rightly received the contempt it deserves - I was particularly struck by his claim that:
"An illegal, immoral war doesn't become a legal and moral one as soon as it breaks out. I am pleased that Britain and the US have had a major setback in Iraq, in the same way I'm pleased that the German invasion of the Soviet Union was defeated."
"it's an intellectual cop out to say that we oppose the war, but that we hope Britain and America are successful."
Surely many of us on the anti-war left recognised that Saddam was a tyrant the Iraqis would be better off without, but worried that the US would screw up both the war and the reconstruction (and it looks like we were right about that) - but that's consequentialist thinking, something I'm not sure Clark understands with his talk of it being immoral and illegal - morality and legality are not quite so black and white, particularly not morality, it may be morally wrong (and illegal) for a policeman to recklessly and indiscriminately fire at terrorists, causing death to civilians, but that doesn't mean we should cheer on the terrorist, or that we shouldn't prefer the policeman to avoid killing civilians, or be happy that he kills the terrorists. To make the analogy even closer, that doesn't change even if the policeman's motivation is due to his psychopathic love of firearms rather than altruistic motives.

I don't even think he's making some larger consequentialist point about giving the US and UK a bloody nose for their imperialist adventure (the sort of point that people like the SWP might make in backing the insurgency) - no - he sees it as some kind of conflict of good versus evil - where have we heard that before?

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