Saturday, August 11, 2007

On being pleased and clear of conscience

As Matt says, the comments on Neil Clark’s noxious CiF piece (which I noted here) are overwhelmingly critical.

But most damning, by a country mile, are Clark’s own responses to these comments. Such as:

I am pleased that Britain and the US have had a major setback in Iraq, in the same way I'm pleased that the German invasion of the Soviet Union was defeated. Britain and America were in the wrong on Iraq- and I will support no aspect of the invasion.

Pleased? There’s anything pleasing about this situation? Oh, come on. Here’s how a non-reprobate anti-war writer might have put that:

Just as I’m horrified at the vast number of Iraqis killed, I’m also aghast at the pointless deaths of many British, American and other troops in this calamity, which has somehow managed to produce an Iraq even worse than it was under Saddam. The only wretched excuse for a silver lining is that further US-UK militarism has been set back – but what a terrible price to pay.

There. That’s not difficult, is it? You just need a little perspective and a small amount of universal concern for human life.

(And of all the countries Hitler attacked, why would it immediately occur to Clark to be pleased that Stalin’s USSR survived in particular? I’m just saying.)

He also says:

I have NEVER advocated the killing of innocent civilians.

But, of course, Clark doesn’t think the interpreters are innocent civilians. He thinks they’re collaborators who are complicit in an illegal war and occupation; they are “self-centred mercenaries who betrayed their fellow countrymen and women”.

And, in response to a comment saying "Neil Clark wants these collaborators tortured and shot":

where do I say that? I merely said it's not a great surprise that many Iraqis feel ill-disposed towards them.
I hope the interpreters are not shot- but when it comes to their fate, my conscience is clear, I did not want to attack Iraq.

No, Clark didn’t “merely” say that it’s unsurprising the interpreters are in danger of violent death. He also said that we should “do all we can” to make sure that they stay in danger of violent death.

But I’m certainly willing to believe that his “conscience is clear”. He seems the kind of guy whose conscience usually is. Something else to be “pleased” about.

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