Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mea Culpa, mea minima culpa


It is becoming a genre, this tearful backtracking from aggressive imperialism. Hitchens expressing his solipsistic distress about what happened to his democratic revolution, blaming bin Ladenist and Ba'athist 'riff raff' for its failure. Ignatieff taking on the mantle of the messiah, and blaming Iraqis for being incapable of self-government. Peter Beinart blaming Makiya for his military adventurism, and ditching his attempted resuscitation of Cold War liberalism. The neocons blaming Rumsfeld's lack of preparation. No one wants to take responsibility. And now Thomas Friedman 'apologising' for his post-9/11 descent into extremism. Friedman's energetic enthusiasm for sadistic violence long pre-dates 2001, of course, but like every other schmuck who has watched as one murderous fantasy after another was discredited in the grim destruction of Iraq, he needs an excuse - and as excuses go, 'Bin Laden Made Me Do It' is slightly better than 'Makiya Hypnotised Me'. RJ Eskow wants to 'forgive' Friedman. No. If you're worth anything as a human being, you should hate Friedman and all his kind forever. Through the centuries they have pathetically and sycophantically rented themselves to power, and have always sought excuses for their crimes and outrages. If anything, they have said, the Emperor has not gone far enough: he should have committed genocide. He was too enlightened, too moral, too zealous in his defense of goodness. And when at last their charlatanism has taken them to such lengths of absurdity that their earnings are threatened, they have simply cut loose and blamed the devil for their misdeeds. No forgiveness: let them stew in their own squalor.