Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I suppose it would be in bad taste to point out that we told you so

For Andrew Sullivan, Epiphany falls on the second Monday of May this year.

Abu Ghraib...has turned the image of this war into the war that the America-hating left always said it was: a brutal, imperialist, racist occupation, designed to humiliate another culture. Abu Ghraib is Noam Chomsky's narrative turned into images more stunning, more damaging, more powerful than a million polemics from Ted Rall or Susan Sontag. It is Osama's dream propaganda coup. It is Chirac's fantasy of vindication. It is Tony Blair's nightmare.
The one anti-war argument that, in retrospect, I did not take seriously enough was a simple one. It was that this war was noble and defensible but that this administration was simply too incompetent and arrogant to carry it out effectively. I dismissed this as facile Bush-bashing at the time. I was wrong.
Noam Chomsky is wrong. Abu Ghraib is not the real meaning of America. And we now have to show it - in abundance.
But how? Given its track record, the Bush Administration is unlikely to do so. If a Kerry Administration does, does anyone believe that the Republicans, on scenting blood, would not tear it to pieces as a sign of its weakness? Since the beginning of the Clinton Administration, the Republican leadership has been relentlessly, opportunistically and mendaciously on the attack and I do not expect them to now put the good of the country above maintaining and advancing their own power.