Six Would Be Ridiculous

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Memo to the last war defenders: YOU ARE DUMB.

Astute and regular readers of this space may have noticed that it's been ages since I've talked about the Iraq war. This is mainly because the Iraq war isn't even funny in a "whistling past the graveyard" kind of way. Not even in a dark humor Dr. Strangelove we're being led into ruin by idiots kind of way.

For years, those of us who knew this was an awful idea, and said so, were taunted with the classy report, "So, you think the Iraqi people would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power?" Which worked great for the first couple of years, when that incredibly low bar was still able to be hurdled by reality. Now? They're not safer, they're not healthier, they spend more time in the dark, and they're not any freer. They've just swapped the predictable order of tyranny for the chaotic oppression of curfews and Might Die At Any Moment.

And on top of that, Bush and his Fucko Squad have plowed America into an ethical quandary. We are morally obligated to fix the incredible mess we made. And we are completely incapable of fixing the incredible mess we made. We can't do it, no matter how much we should. And that's probably the saddest part of all.

It sucks, and it has sucked consistently, in the same way, only more so, for the past eighteen months. And if you need a clearer picture of how bad it is, the last holdout defenders of this debacle are left desperately struggling to prove that while it's very bad in Iraq, it's not quite so bad that six people could be burned alive.

Yes, the latest "controversy" stirred up by the right-wing blogosphere concerns an AP story from last week. The story reported that members of the Shiite Mahdi Army dragged six Sunni worshippers out of a mosque, doused them in kerosene, and set them on fire. The last delusional Bushite fools decided this could not be, and attacked the messenger. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Look, there's no denying blood is flowing in Iraq. But how much and whose and at whose hand? Self-appointed 'spokesmen' in Iraq are skilled in the art of media manipulation. They--like many in the American media--have a vested interest in exaggerating the violence as much as possible. - Michelle Malkin, who, in case you've forgotten, thinks we were perfectly justified in locking up thousands of American citizens during World War II because they were Japanese.

The idea that the media needs to exaggerate the violence - either for ratings or for their secret leftist desire to turn the public against the war - is old hat in this crowd. Ridiculous, but old hat. But I'm not sure what internal logic leads Malkin to believe that there are Iraqis who've decided it's a great idea to appoint themselves as spokesmen, learn the art of media manipulation, and make up stories for the US press to print. Or that such a thing is so commonplace as to be automatically suspected.

Anyway, the blogger's argument, which my admittedly sanity-saving skimming leads me to believe consists of "the military said this didn't happen" and "the source for the story doesn't exist", appear to be largely bullshit. The military has denied so many true things over the past five years I'd doubt an Army report that said many soldiers wear hats of various types. And the source does exist. Not that it matters.

Because the essential argument Malkin and her cohorts are making is that while Iraq is in bad shape, it's not quite in such bad shape that six people can be dragged out to the street and burned alive in broad daylight. Three, oh sure. That happens all the time. Four on a bad day. But six? That must be the traitorous anti-American media!

And if that's your fallback position, then you're clinging by one torn fingernail to a fantasy. And that fantasy is tied to a dream by a piece of fraying thread. And the dream's not anchored to anything approaching reality. And the worst part is, even then, these bloggers have a slightly clearer picture of what's actually going on then their Fearless Leader does.