Defending Totalitarians To Absolve Obama

Everyone knows that liberals sympathize with authoritarian and even totalitarian regimes around the world, but it’s still a shock when liberals explicitly defend tyranny. The latest example comes from Eugene Robinson, one of the opinion writers at the Washington Post, as he attempts to absolve President Obama from any blame in the current crisis in Iraq (see here).

Liberals like Robinson want us to remember that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney gave us the “cauldron of woe” in Iraq in the first place by launching the invasion of Iraq in 2003 without understanding or planning for the potential consequences:

The U.S. invasion toppled a Sunni dictatorship that had ruled brutally over Iraq’s other major groups — the Shiite majority and the ethnic Kurds — for decades. It seems not to have occurred to anyone planning the invasion that long-suppressed resentments and ambitions would inevitably surface.

As Robinson sees it, the marginalization of groups by a U.S. backed Shiite-dominated government after the demise of Saddam has angered and alienated Iraqis and prevented the country from checking the advance of the Islamic State. And he suggests that good old boy Saddam, had the U.S. not removed him from power, surely would not have allowed disarray within the country or threats from without.

Robinson fast-forwards from the original invasion of Iraq to the chaos today as if nothing happened between 2003 and 2009. He conveniently ignores the development of things like, you know, democracy, elections, freedom of the press, not to mention economic growth, and, oh yeah, as Dick Cheney correctly pointed out, the emergence of Iraq as a “relatively stable place” by the end of the Bush administration.

Ignoring the vastly improved quality of life after the U.S. liberated Iraq, liberals focus instead on the deaths of more than 110,000 Iraqis after Saddam’s overthrow, mostly at the hands of extremists who wanted an even greater totalitarian state. Robinson imagines that Saddam would not have killed as many had he remained in power and for this reason, we evidently should support a totalitarian solution.

Liberals who refuse to fight oppression because the effort might result in casualties are logically obliged to admit that the American Civil War was a mistake, in view of the 700,000 deaths caused by the effort to abolish slavery. If Americans living in the nineteenth century had taken Robinson’s position, slavery would still exist today.

But liberals will never admit that the Civil War was a mistake. Rather, they will continue to omit the facts and offer incoherent arguments to deflect blame away from Obama, whose complete abandonment of Iraq is the proximate cause of the crisis. Apparently it never occurs to liberals that a state lacking a democratic tradition might, just might, require a significant U.S. presence for a long time to insure that it stays on course.

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