Monday 24th of February 2020

the relative value of freedom .....

‘From the beginning, there were
ominous signs that the Iraqis weren't going to play the game right. More than a
few neo-con hearts were broken by the Iraqi refusal to greet us with flowers
and champagne as we marched into Baghdad, and the snub still hurts. Just this
week, Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum and an unrepentant hawk,
complained about "the ingratitude of the Iraqis for the extraordinary favour
we gave them: to release them from the bondage of Saddam Hussein's

In Baghdad on Monday for a joint appearance with British
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Condoleezza Rice suggested that we've now given
the Iraqis all the help a liberated people can reasonably expect: We "have
forces on the ground and have sacrificed here," she told reporters, so we
have "a right to expect that this process [of government formation] will
keep moving forward."
Chiming in, Straw called on the Iraqis to shape up and select a prime minister,
pronto: "The Americans have lost over 2,000 people [in Iraq]. We've lost
over 100…. And billions - billions - of United States dollars, hundreds of
millions of British pound sterlings have come into this country. We do have, I
think, a right to say that we've got to be able to deal with Mr. A or Mr. B or
Mr. C. We can't deal with Mr. Nobody." 

The "after all we've done
for you!" theme is more than a little jarring, coming as it does from the
architects of the war. The Iraqis didn't beg us to invade their country. We
invaded Iraq for reasons quite unrelated to the welfare of the Iraqi people
(and, it turned out, for reasons unrelated to the welfare of the American
people as well).’ 

ungrateful Iraqis