Monday, April 14, 2003

By Public Demand

I suppose that it's time I put up the now obligatory "Lefty reviews the war and is forced to admit that he was totally wrong" post. Once it's out of the way, I might be able to get on with writing about the things that do interest me, rather than the things that others insist I should be interested in.

I didn't make too many public predictions about the war - I had the basic rat-cunning to keep most of them to myself, at least as far as the blogosphere is concerned. The one prediction I did make started from a totally false premise, even if I did arrive at the correct conclusion, so I'll have to forego any claim to an "I told you so". Pity about that.

Of course, like all the other Hanrahans of the left, I expected nothing to come of it but roonation but, at least in the short term, roonation hasn't arrived. Instead, the war was mercifully short and there were so few losses on our side that it has been described as a "cake walk". After reading this article from the NY Times (link via John Quiggin), I think that in time we may learn that it would be more accurate to call it a turkey shoot. But this does not mean roonation for us: Saddam Hussein has been deposed, Iraq has been liberated and a clear message has been sent to the rest of the world's rogue states. It's hardly surprising that so many on the pro-war side are calling on the Left to stop quibbling about the price of the postage stamp. I know that last metaphor is a little outdated - but much as I'd like to use the one about Iraq being spammed with high explosive, it doesn't fit the occasion.

So, although it's after the event, I'm going to say that I pretty much expected the triumphalism that has erupted since that statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down. Even though the war has been a short one, it seems that there's been enough time for another personal expectation to be realised - there's been enough time for the goal posts to be shifted far enough that a military victory can be counted as "success". Well not quite: as we all know, Donald Rumsfeld suggested last Thursday that the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam didn't use in defending his regime could have been spirited away to somewhere else. Such as Syria where there may also be high ranking Iraqi officials hiding out. Still, we shouldn't let ourselves be distracted from the US' achievement by worry-wart predictions that the US may embark on a global treasure hunt for Saddam's arsenal. Democracy has arrived in Iraq.


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