Consider the response of liberal Europeans to the last 40 years of Iraqi history. From 1968, an authentically fascist state confronted them, complete with the supreme leader, the unremitting reign of terror, the gassing of ethnic minorities and the unprovoked wars of conquest. America and Britain had, to their shame, been complicit in the oppression, but in 2003 they overthrew the tyrant thinking that he still possessed the weapons he used against the Kurds and the Iranians. He didn’t and the occupation turned into a disaster as the followers of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Ruhollah Khomeini began a campaign of mass sectarian killing.
Anyone who believed what Europeans said about their determination to make amends for Nazism and communism would have expected a principled response. However much they loathed Bush and Blair, surely they would have offered unreserved support for Arabs and Kurds struggling to escape totalitarianism. The British bore a heavy responsibility, as our army was effectively defeated in Basra. With too few troops to fight, it allowed clerical death squads to take over the city. British commanders had to suffer the humiliation of seeing the American and reconstituted Iraqi forces charge in to stop the violence they could not control.
And yet mainstream public opinion has never been interested in offering solidarity to the victims of Ba’athism and Islamism…
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