Den Beste has a Bloom County moment

Steven Den Beste writes the following, part of a much longer post [his repetition of “The Truth Is” is a reference to a Bloom County Sunday strip from years ago]:

The Truth Is that in the last two years one of the strongest currents in international diplomacy and rhetoric has been Tu Quoque. If you are vulnerable to a certain criticism, preempt that criticism by accusing your enemies of that same failure before they accuse you. One benefit is that you may muddy the waters enough so that the entire accusation is devalued, and even if you don’t, when someone accuses you of that same failing it makes them look feeble and reactive.

It doesn’t matter if there’s any basis for the preemptive criticism, or whether it makes any sense. The point is to defuse the entire issue. One example is the ongoing characterization of Israeli action against the Palestinians as “terrorism” by Arab leaders, so as to try to deflect attention from the fact that the Palestinian “freedom fighters” are the ones truly engaged in terrorist attacks.

And now a monumental example of Tu Quoque is beginning to emerge. There has been a steady drumbeat of accusations by the leftist lunatic fringe that the real reason the Bush administration wanted to invade Afghanistan and Iraq was to advance the business interests of certain oil companies. It’s never actually made any sense; f all the Bush administration were really interested in was oil, it would have been far easier to make a deal with Saddam than to invade.

But it’s also becoming more and more apparent that an appallingly large amount of the vocal international opposition to Anglo-American plans for invasion of Iraq actually opposed the invasion because they were making out like bandits, as beneficiaries of the “Oil for Food” program. And apparently the two nations which made out the best were UNSC veto powers France and Russia, who by extraordinary coincidence also were the most intransigent opponents in the UNSC of the invasion.

It’s the latest demonstration of the corruption, incompetence, and venality of the UN as an organization, but by no means the only one. Yet it is still the UN which opponents of the war turn to in their rhetoric as solution to the “problem” of the Anglo-American occupation of Iraq.

The Truth Is that anti-war leftists actually do think that America should “cut and run”, just as Spain now has. But they’re not so disconnected as to believe that they can actually sell that honestly. So their rhetoric is that the US and British should transfer control over Iraq to the UN, and largely withdraw their own forces in favor of “international forces” to take their place. But they no more believe that the UN would handle that job well than I do. The Truth Is that they believe that the only way they can convince the majority of Americans to pull out is to try to pretend that America would be replaced by someone else who would “finish the job”, even though there’s now damned good reason to believe that UN control over Iraq would be an utter catastrophe for Iraqis.

The Truth Is that many of them recognize that the primary justification for our invasion was to gain the opportunity to establish a liberal democracy there, in hopes of infecting the entire region with liberal ideas (using “liberal” in its traditional meaning) and of “destabilizing” the entire region. They recognize that to be dangers to themselves or to close friends of theirs, and hope to prevent it. If Iraq disintegrates into civil war, or if it is once again ruled by a brutal dictator, then the Iraqi people will again suffer but these leaders would all heave a sigh of relief. (And who knows? They might even be able to get back onto the gravy train again.)

The AirMarshal linked me to an alternative, and perhaps more pragmatic, point of view, here.

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