Tuesday, September 14, 2004

What Dilemma?

A Republican leader called upon his party, out loud, to discourage people from voting in Detroit and other districts that are largely black. When Democrats complained, Sean Hannity of Fox News charged that the Democrats were playing the race card. The Democrats!

Okay, that’s Rupert Murdoch’s stable -- which aims at people who are out of the habit of thinking. There’s quite a few of them around, unfortunately. But the more serious media are not as much help as they ought to be. Here’s a front-page analysis in the Times that says that by raising the military pressure in Iraq, the U.S. is risking losing popular support.

What popular support? Like the rest of the world, the people of Iraq generally admire our wealth, our standard of living, our consumer goods, our style as they see it on television. They send their kids to work and study here, if they can. What they don’t like is being occupied by us.

Their latest glimpse of us, showed an Arabian TV reporter pointing to a crowd celebrating the wreckage of an American armored car. As he spoke, one of our gunships opened fire, destroying the humvee and a lot of unarmed bystanders. The reporter looked at the camera with dismay and said, "I’m dying." Then he fell, dying.

That scene played all over the Muslim world yesterday. And we wonder why they don’t love us.

Our pundits keep talking about our dilemma, but a dilemma implies two choices. We don’t have two choices. There is no way that an occupied country can be turned into an obedient colony or a happy democracy. Those who lied us into this war know that. They just can’t figure out a way to get out. Besides, they’re making money out of it. So they hang on for the next election, the next four years; some have talked of staying the course for the next 20 years.

They are mad -- madder than Hannity, if they believe what they have been saying. And we would be fools to let them get away with it.