Quislings? "Screw ’em" Posted by: McQ
on Sunday, August 12, 2007
What is it that drives virulent anti-war (or at least anti-Iraq war) opponents to such excess? I recall with disgust the Kos "screw them" remark when 4 civilian contractors were killed, burnt, dismembered and had their body parts hung from a bridge. Apparently it would be fine with Neil Clark, writing in the Guardian, if the same happened to some Iraqi interpreters who're feeling a bit threatened now that the British have decided to abandon Iraq and have asked for political asylum. His entire article is a huge "screw them" piece.
Interestingly he blames the attempt to grant them asylum on "pro-war bloggers" in the UK. As you'll see in the comments (and the comments are a must read on this article) just as many "anti-war bloggers" agree they should be given asylum.
But in Iraq, it was Britain that was the aggressor, and all those who aided the occupation are complicit in what the Nuremburg judgment laid down as "the supreme international crime": the launching of an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign state.
The interpreters did not work for "us", the British people, but for themselves - they are paid around £16 a day, an excellent wage in Iraq - and for an illegal occupying force. Let's not cast them as heroes. The true heroes in Iraq are those who have resisted the invasion of their country.
Got that? The true heroes are those killing British soldiers and the interpreters are turncoats getting an excellent wage to do so. If you don't buy the "turncoat" characterization, read on:
If more Iraqis had followed the example of the interpreters and collaborated with British and American forces, it is likely that the cities of Iran and Syria would now be lying in rubble.
Before you rush to condemn Iraqis who feel ill disposed towards the interpreters, ask yourself a simple question: how would you view fellow Britons who worked for the forces of a foreign occupier, if Britain were ever invaded? History tells us that down through history, Quislings have - surprise, surprise - not been well received, and the Iraqi people's animosity towards those who collaborated with US and British forces is only to be expected.
Those who cheered on a brutal, murderous assault on a third-world country that was always going to result in mass loss of life would now like us to believe they are concerned over the fate of 91 people. But what I suspect worries the pro-war brigade most is not the future of the interpreters but that future military "interventions" may be jeopardised unless Britain promises citizenship rights to locals who collaborate.
Yes, friends, those who've worked with British forces in Iraq are the equivalent of the Quislings who collaborated with the Nazis (Godwin's law is invoked). So, "screw em".
The interesting part of the entire article isn't what Clark says in particular - just another shallow thinker ranting based on a stupid premise and false analogy - but instead the comments. I've seen writers savaged in the comment section but not to the level Clark is savaged. And it seems to be a pretty diverse group holding dissimilar beliefs about the war but all united in one particular thought - regardless of his beliefs, Neil Clark is a piece of crap.
This article offers some insight into what makes these liberal folks tick (from a reformed liberal). Yes, he’s British, but, well, read “Confessions of a BBC Liberal”: :
”The growing general agreement that the culture of the [MSM] is the culture of the chattering classes …what is behind the opinions and attitudes of this social group?
They are that minority often characterised (or caricatured) by sandals and macrobiotic diets, but in a less extreme form are found in …[the NYT, CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN], academia, showbusiness and [NPR] news and current affairs. … antiindustry, anti-capital-ism, antiadvertising, antiselling, antiprofit, antipatriotism… antipolice, antiarmed forces, antibomb, antiauthority. Almost anything that made the world a freer, safer and more prosperous place….
The reason for the … misunderstandings [between left and right] is that both views are correct as far as they go … but there is no “right” point of view …The most you can ever say is that sometimes society is in danger from too much authority and uniformity and sometimes from too much freedom and variety.
…There are four new factors which … have brought about the changes that have shaped media liberalism, encouraged its spread and significantly increased its influence and importance.
The first of these is detribalisation… we lived in commuter suburbs, we knew very few of our neighbours and took not the slightest interest in local government.
The second factor that shaped our media liberal attitudes was a sense of exclusion. We saw ourselves as part of the intellectual elite, full of ideas about how the country should be run. Being naive in the way institutions actually work, we were convinced that [America’s] problems were the result of the stupidity of the people in charge of the country. We also [have] an almost complete ignorance of market economics… Say [WalMart] to a media liberal and the patellar reflex says, “Exploiting [foreign workers] and driving out small shopkeepers.” The achievement of providing the range of goods, the competitive prices, the food quality, the speed of service and the ease of parking that attract millions of shoppers does not register on their radar.
The third factor arises from the nature of mass media. It was much easier to keep [the nightly TV audience’s] attention by telling them they were being deceived or exploited by big institutions than by saying what a good job the government and the banks and the oil companies were doing.
The fourth factor is what has been called “isolation technology”. Fifty years ago people did things together much more. The older politicians we interviewed in the early … days were happier in public meetings than in television studios.
" History tells us that down through history, Quislings have - surprise, surprise - not been well received, and the Iraqi people’s animosity towards those who collaborated with US and British forces is only to be expected"
If my memory is correct, history also tells us that very few Quislings or collaborators were summarily tortured and executed, nor were their families in physical danger. I rather doubt we would see an Iraqi equivalent of the Nuremberg (and other) trials of which he is so fond. Even Quisling had a trial before he was executed.
Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/12/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day…so check back often. This is a weekend edition so updates are as time and family permits.
Bithead, there’s a reason I refer to the Leftards in general as Copperheads, and as a Fifth Column. And if anyone thinks that words are an effective counter to them, well, that’s what Neville Chamberlain thought too. Not hardly.
Is it completely absurd to try to understsand that many Iraqis see the Americans and British as neo-colonial invaders? Espeically the Sunni, who have had 400 years of dominance, aren’t going to see the outsiders, who are giving the Shi’ites power, as evil intruders, bent on malevolence, which a true Iraqi nationalist must oppose? Look, we did invade their country, and have tried to shape their political process. That’s interventionist, even imperialist in its scope. Perhaps our intentions are good — that’s clearly debatable and can’t be assumed — but we did invade. Not only that, but tapes of how we’ve treated Iraqis at check points and in searches has been humiliating. How should Iraqis react to that?
Now, I don’t believe that warrants violence or an insurgency. I don’t believe in initiation of force, like we did in March 2003. But when you intervene in anothers’ affairs, don’t be surprised if they don’t like it and fight against you. And I hope that the lessons learned here keep us from making the same mistake with other, more powerful states like Iran. Perhaps a silver lining from the Iraq conflict is that we’ve learned the limits of our ability to project military power, and we’ll be less likely to do so in such a manner (in defiance of the UN, etc.) again. In a best case scenario we’d learn not only those limits, but the principle of non-intervention and embrace a libertarian foreign policy. We’re still too "imperial" in our mindset to do that. We think its obvious that we intend good and are good, and anyone who denies that is somehow evil or malicious. But such a view is naive.
Finally, I have respect for people who make unpopular arguments, knowing that those on the right (or sometimes the left) will try to simply use abuse and bullying in order to avoid confronting the truth. Ultimately, the truth wins out, and those who try to evade coping with the truth by smears find themselves on the wrong side of history.
Many of you will like this, but I’ll be away from posting for awhile due to preparation for a busy schedule, some travel, public lectures, etc. I’ll hopefully have some time in a month or two. Til then, I’ve left you with a provocative post to attack — but, hopefully, a few of you will reflect on it and reconsider your foreign policy views. Ciao!
It is completely reasonable for Iraqis to view us as occupiers, invaders, etc., even possibly neo-colonialists (but I think that’s way off the mark.) I think the resistance to the USA in Iraq has paradoxically made us have to stay longer than we would have if it had been a cakewalk, but it’s understandable. I think our forces have learned a lot and so have the Iraqi people that the occupation at this point is not as bad as in the beginning - plus when you have AQ around for a comparison, well, Anbar decided it was dumb to oppose us after all.
By the same token, though, would this author also agree that anyone working with the UN or EU forces in Haiti/Kosovo/Bosnia/Darfur etc. are also Quislings who should be killed? How about anyone working for NATO forces in Afghanistan?
Why not? One man’s Qusiling is another man’s patriot, I guess.
"in defiance of the UN, etc" Classic. Show me the resolution, Erb. Also, please explain how the UN is any better than most an "non-intervention."
On a side note, I was reading the Economist article on Haiti and it seems like the UN has made scant progress since 2004 on many of the same issues faced in Iraq, i.e. police, courts, economy, no-go slums, etc. Make me think back to pre-9/11 when we were going to stop nation-building. One of the main problems with that sort of idea is that the media and public seem to enjoy the spectacle of poor countries needing "our help" and that will be very hard to stop. "We have to do SOMETHING." sort of thinking.
One little point to the USA as neo-colonialists...if you read The Village by Bing West there is an interesting story of how before the US invaded Vietnam, the communists told the villagers that the Americans were coming to steal their water-buffalo. That was laughed at later when they realized that any country that air-freighted in air-conditioned tents probably didn’t need their water-buffalo.
Does anyone still believe we invaded Iraq for the oil? Or Afghanistan for the pipeline?
Finally, I have respect for people who make unpopular arguments, knowing that those on the right (or sometimes the left) will try to simply use abuse and bullying in order to avoid confronting the truth.
The only "truth" that Neil Clark adheres to is that those Iraqis who assisted the British need to killed and that he considers it unethical to save them from being executed.
Ultimately, the truth wins out, and those who try to evade coping with the truth by smears find themselves on the wrong side of history.
The truth has won out. When the UK withdraws those Iraqi who assisted them will be killed. Neil Clark views these people as a smear on history guilty of assisting an occupation and argues that these Iraqi collaborators must die as a lesson to prevent future collaborations.
Apparently Scott Erb believes that Neil Clark is worthy of respect.
Til then, I’ve left you with a provocative post to attack — but, hopefully, a few of you will reflect on it and reconsider your foreign policy views. Ciao!
Whatever this is it is not provocative, it is not new, merely a function of your political expediency. Throughout history empires in retreat advised by your ilk have sacraficed foreign races as examples for the nobility of non-involvement. You would like that they die bloodily in their far away lands as an object lesson on the dangers of involvement. Last thing you need is any unsightly exiles being publically thankful to America and asking for re-engagement.
(Normally though they keep quiet about it and do not endorse the killings - congrats on you and Neil Clark on having the balls to step forward and be honest.)
An imperialist will look first the imperial perogative, the imperial power and imperial reputation before considering the effect on any little Johnny foreigners. Scott Erb is an imperialist, justifying the deaths of thousands of Iraqi as justly reinforcing of an imperial withdrawl.