Monday, March 20, 2006

Hari admits he was wrong about Iraq

Johann Hari does the decent thing and finally admits: "I was wrong, terribly wrong - and the evidence should have been clear all along." Independent, 20 March 2006

Apparently this came after the Independent had a front page showing various pro-war people who'd now recanted - but I missed that edition.

Sometimes Hari starts his column by saying one thing, then reverses it in the second half; but this time it's a very direct admission that he was very wrong.:

"...The lamest defence I could offer – one used by many supporters of the war as they slam into reverse gear – is that I still support the principle of invasion, it’s just the Bush administration screwed it up. But as one anti-war friend snapped at me when I mooted this argument, “Yeah, who would ever have thought that supporting George Bush in the illegal invasion of an Arab country would go wrong?” She’s right: the truth is that there was no pure Platonic ideal of The Perfect Invasion to support, no abstract idea we lent our names to. There was only Bush, with his cluster bombs, depleted uranium, IMF-ed up economic model, bogus rationale and unmistakable stench of petrol, offering his war, his way. (Expecting Tony Blair to use his influence was, it is now clear, a delusion, as he refuses to even frontally condemn the American torture camp at Guantanomo Bay).

The evidence should have been clear to me all along: the Bush administration would produce disaster..."

http://www.johannhari.com/index.php

But on his own site he can't resist indicating that he had admirers who regret his recantation, and he includes, without comment, an example:

"POSTSCRIPT: There's been a collosal [sic TW] response to this article and I'm still picking through the e-mails. Over fifty from Iraqis, of which some mournfully agree, although this e-mail was more typical:

"Your article in the Independent today, 20/3/2006, was really disappointing to all of your admirers. You let them down. You changed your mind and switched from pro-war to join the anti-war campaigners, means that you gave in bowed to the aggressors. So instead of blaming the terrorists for this mass killing in Iraq at the hand of the terrorists, you put the blame on Bush and Blair for liberating Iraqi people from the worst dictator in history. If your new stance is right, then it was wrong to stand up against Hitler in the WW II, because that war caused humanity 55 million casualties. So it was better not oppose the Axis sates. Is that fair? Is this is the justice that we are looking for? If the tyrants were left to do as they like because of the possible revenge from their followers, then our glob will be place for the tyrants only and the whole planet population will be living like sheep.

Abdulkhaliq Hussein"

What an absurd comparison; Hitler attacked other countries, had occupied many and threatened to invade us - a slightly different situation ! Saddam was no real threat, even to his neighbours, and the excuse for war wasn't regime change. He wouldn't even have been a tyrant in his own country if he had not had the support of the West, e.g. in the war with Iran. As ye sow ...

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