UPDATE 08/05 – It’s actually a Sunday New York Times Magazine piece – and it’s now available online in its entirety here.
Michael Ignatieff, the pseudo-intellectual pseudo-politician who came from far ahead to lose the Federal Liberal Party of Canada leadership last November (and to an utter nothing, yet!), is once again demostrating the amorality, vacuosness, and utter confusion of the left. A “Human Rights expert” who supported the American-led coalition effort to depose Saddam Hussein in 2003, is now begging off his position, presumably in an effort to woo the far-left/Islamist-coddling wing of the party that brought Stephane Dion to power (a wing that is rightfully expressing grave doubts about Dion’s leadership). Ignatieff has penned a mea culpa for this weekend’s Time Magazine, which is summarized in today’s National Post. Most troubling is this passage:
Ignatieff says he allowed his previous experiences and emotions to inspire his views.
“I made some of these mistakes and then a few of my own,” he wrote. “The lesson I draw for the future is to be less influenced by the passions of people I admire — Iraqi exiles, for example — and to be less swayed by my emotions. I went to northern Iraq in 1992. I saw what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurds. From that moment forward, I believed he had to go. My convictions had all the authority of personal experience, but for that very reason, I let emotion carry me past the hard questions, like: Can Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites hold together in peace what Saddam Hussein held together by terror?”
Hmmm…let me see if I understand his thinking. Iggy saw first-hand what Saddam did to the Kurds. Iggy determined that Saddam was a monster and had to go. Iggy still recognizes to this day that Saddam held together Iraq by terror. But now, in retrospect, Iggy says he should have ignored the authority of his own well-developed convictions, and should have come to the conclusion that Saddam should stay in power to continue to hold Iraq together in terror.
Does this make ANY sense? Are you saying that your personal principles should take a back seat to some perverse sense of “stability”? His position is only understandable if looked at through the prism of the U.S. Democratic Party’s narrative of the war in Iraq: that Iraq is a new Vietnam quagmire, that we’re not fighting Islamic fanaticism in Iraq, and that the inevitable defeat in Iraq is a tragedy inflicted on us all by the Republican right.
To cap it off, see if you can translate this paragraph of liberish (liberal-gibberish – I think I just coined a phrase…):
“If power corrupts, it corrupts this sixth sense of personal limitation on which prudence relies,” he wrote. “A prudent leader will save democracies from the worst, but prudent leaders will not inspire a democracy to give its best. Democratic peoples should always be looking for something more than prudence in a leader: daring, vision and — what goes with both — a willingness to risk failure. Daring leaders can be trusted as long as they give some inkling of knowing what it is to fail. They must be men of sorrow acquainted with grief, as the prophet Isaiah says, men and women who have not led charmed lives, who understand us as we really are, who have never given up hope and who know they are in politics to make their country better. These are the leaders whose judgment, even if sometimes wrong, will still prove worthy of trust.”
Funny how he’s bailing on his Iraq stance just in time for the Americans to turn the corner towards inevitable victory – Iggy, vindication was on the horizon! What political instincts…what courage of conviction…
What a sad excuse for a so-called intellectual. I hope he has to face his former Kurdish friends in person, look them in the eye, and explain the rationale behind his amoral vacillations. In the meantime, he should finally say goodbye to his dreams of becoming Prime Minister – he’s proved himself once and for all to be neither a leader, nor a politician, nor a very smart man.