Those who would rather be right than decent

The point about rooting against the U.S. in Iraq made from the conservative perspective by Victor Davis Hanson in the blog below was made, from a principled leftist perspective, by Norman Geras in the Wall Street Journal a while back. Here is what our favorite Marxist said regarding “those who seem so to relish every new difficulty, every setback for U.S. forces”:
“What they align themselves with is a future of prolonged hardship and suffering for the Iraqi people, whether via an actual rather than imagined quagmire, a ruinous civil war, or the return (out of either) of some new and ghastly political tyranny; rather than a rapid stabilization and democratization of the country, promising its inhabitants an early prospect of national normalization. That is caring more to have been right than for a decent outcome for the people of this long-unfortunate country.
“Such impulses have displayed themselves very widely across left and liberal opinion in recent months. Why? For some, because what the U.S. government and its allies do, whatever they do, has to be opposed–and opposed however thuggish and benighted the forces which this threatens to put your antiwar critic into close company with. For some, because of an uncontrollable animus towards George W. Bush and his administration. For some, because of a one-eyed perspective on international legality and its relation to issues of international justice and morality.
“Whatever the case or the combination, it has produced a calamitous compromise of the core values of socialism, or liberalism or both, on the part of thousands of people who claim attachment to them. You have to go back to the apologias for, and fellow-traveling with, the crimes of Stalinism to find as shameful a moral failure of liberal and left opinion as in the wrongheaded–and too often, in the circumstances, sickeningly smug–opposition to the freeing of the Iraqi people from one of the foulest regimes on the planet.”


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