A terrific column by David Aaronovitch lays into the hypocrisies of the anti-war movement. Aaronovitch is big enough to admit his own mistakes. Something tells me the other side will never get round to doing that. When events in Iraq stop working to their advantage, they'll soon find another cause to trumpet. That's irritating enough. What's worse is their insufferable complacency:

The thing is, David," said the anti-war Labour politician in the hospitality room after the programme we had both just appeared on, "you're on a hook, and you can't get off."
The "hook" was the logic of having supported the invasion of Iraq. You back the invasion to get rid of Saddam, so you must support an occupation, so - when it goes wrong - you must then endorse measures taken to suppress "resistance", and must go on to apologise for or excuse atrocities committed by allied forces ... and so on.

And, to an extent, it's true. The worst and most stupid thing I have written in my time at the Guardian was a piece playing down the significance of the looting and lawlessness that followed the fall of Baghdad. You find yourself attempting to minimise every negative and emphasise every positive, until you are in danger of losing all sight of the truth.

The funny thing, though, was that I knew about my hook. I wriggle on it all the time, and it hurts. The politician, however, was completely, almost beatifically, unaware of hers. Unaware of how, inexorably, opposition to the actions of Bush and Blair had become a tolerance of the inhumanity of the insurgency and an utter failure to identify with those extraordinarily brave and determined Iraqis who are fighting for democracy. She just couldn't see them or hear them any longer. Every time they spoke, her mind was full of Blair or neocons.

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/move-on-terrific-column-by-david.html|||2/01/2005 08:40:00 am|||||||||