Monday, February 07, 2005


Nattering Naybobs Of Negativity

Something very strange happened to the Commando on Sunday. There I was, sitting in my chair, and reading the Sunday SAEN when I came across the latest column by Susan Ives, "Election in Iraq just the same old song." I must admit that it actually surprised me. You can feel the bitterness and hatred dripping from every word. And what has her so mad? Perhaps she is just mad at herself for being so wrong on Iraq so many times or it could be that she is mad that maybe, just maybe, President Bush was right on Iraq; either way she showed a lack of class shocking even to a regular reader of Maureen Dowd. Here is a taste from her tasteless column:
But if [the Iraqis] thought they were voting for democracy, liberty and freedom they are sadly mistaken. They risked their lives to legitimize the Bush administration's long-term plans for domination of the Middle East.

How many times have we heard that Bush "did it for the oil," and his buddies at Halliburton? And how many times have American actions proven those allegations true? Not once, because the fact of the matter is that if we wanted the oil in the Middle East we could take it. You know, President Bush is fair game for criticism, but her remarks dishonor the fighting and the dying that our troops our doing over in Iraq. She says she is not calling into question the courage of the Iraqis, but that is exactly what she is doing. I kind of feel sorry for Ms. Ives.
That’s nattering nabobs of negativity (no y in nabob). I assume you know that was the phrase that William Safire came up with when he was a speechwriter for Nixon’s first Vice President Spiro Agnew - that great icon of Republican virtue.
While I didn’t entirely agree with the thrust of Ive’s column Sunday, I think your assessment is way too harsh. No, I really couldn’t “feel the bitterness and hatred dripping from every word,” as you say. I think she expressed a number of legitimate criticisms about the election which you have refused to acknowledge, such as the violence and instability in the Sunni regions.
However, unlike Ives, I think the elections were legitimate and were probably as representative of the will of the Iraqi people as can possibly be surmised at this time. The problem that I have pointed out is that the form of government the majority prefers does not match Bush’s notion of the kind of freedom he says he wants to spread across the Middle East. We are most likely going to end up with yet another Islamic fundamentalist state ruled by a bunch of hardline clerics reading from the Koran. Of course, as long as they will give us access to thier oil we won’t really care what they do and that is the sad fact of this whole ordeal.
Made the mistake of reading Ms Ives' column while watching Ted Kennedy on Meet the Press and eating a breakfast taco. My husband thought I would lose my breakfast. For Ms Ives to call the Iraqi people puppets (as Kerry's staff last year before our election) is to insult their intelligence. Also, I think they are smart enough not to institute an Islamist government. I could be wrong; only time will tell, but my money in on the Iraqis and the administration. After all, conventional wisdom said that the Afghans couldn't do it, and they are making very good progress.

Now it is good that income from Iraqi oil will go into Iraq's economy, instead of being used to buy palaces and cars for Saddam's cronies and to bribe UN staff and Security Council members, while starving the people.
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