Is the left finally cracking?
The left has stubbornly refused to admit anything good at all could come from Iraq. But, as Steven Vincent points out today, they may finally be cracking.
Used to be, only the bad guys in melodramatic fiction justified their malevolence in the name of "evil"--as when the cackling supervillain waves his clenched fist and shouts, "Now, let evil reign!" And yet, Osama's man in Iraq has essentially done just that, announcing that he and his followers fight to prevent the "evil principle" of democracy from taking root in Iraq--a position so extreme and illiberal that even leftist critics of the war may feel compelled to re-examine their position. If not their consciences.Could Zarqawi's recent tape declaring war on democracy be the fulcrum that moves the left to support the Iraqis' efforts to birth democracy?
And indeed, that reappraisal may in fact be happening, especially in light of Iraqi labor leader Hadi Salih's brutal murder earlier this month. (See "Wrong Left Turns" below). Here's Andrew Grice of U.K.'s Independent, hardly a bastion of neo-conservative ideology, quoting Labor MP Harry Barnes:I was very proud to support the Stop the War Coalition but its leadership has now degenerated into an unrepresentative and totalitarian rump. For me, the war was wrong but we just have to recognise that things have changed and now give increased and active solidarity to all those forces within Iraq who are desperately trying to rebuild civil society, make the elections work, preserve the unity of their country and see the withdrawal of foreign troops.