I know I’m expecting too much, but I really hope the “we can’t be choosy” Western supporters of the Iraqi “resistance” will find a way to blame the murder of dozens of Iraqi children—at a ceremony in Baghdad to mark the opening of a new sewage plant—on those who actually perpetrated it, without in some way implicating the US government.
I’m no supporter of the Iraqi “resistance”, but I still guess it would be expecting too much to hope that the contributors to Harry’s Place desist from making this kind of heavy-handed point every time something nasty happens in Iraq. In any case, the presupposition of Gene’s point—which he may or may not endorse when it is brought to the surface—is that if one gives the bombers the blame they deserve one must thereby absolve the US government. Not so, and for two reasons. First, if a government’s policies bring a situation into being in which crazy fanatics take the opportunity to slaughter innocents, a situation that would not otherwise have obtained, then that government is sure as hell implicated. Compare: if the British government gave an amnesty to all Britain’s sex offenders, it would in no way be exculpatory of the rapists to hold the government to account for the increase in rapes. Second, if you invade a country, destroy or disband the existing state apparatus, and assume responsibility for the peace and security of its citizens, then it is hardly unreasonable to hold you responsible when that peace and security fails to obtain. None of which, of course, settles the question of whether there should have been a war or not. But it does settle the question “Is it possible to blame to fanatics appropriately and still implicate the occupiers.” The answer to that question is “yes”.