diet coke for breakfast

Monday, May 10, 2004

Posted by Jake - Daily Dish

The narrative of liberation was critical to the success of the mission - politically and militarily. This was never going to be easy, but it was worth trying. It was vital to reverse the Islamist narrative that pitted American values against Muslim dignity. The reason Abu Ghraib is such a catastrophe is that it has destroyed this narrative. It has turned the image of this war into the war that the America-hating left always said it was: a brutal, imperialist, racist occupation, designed to humiliate another culture. Abu Ghraib is Noam Chomsky's narrative turned into images more stunning, more damaging, more powerful than a million polemics from Ted Rall or Susan Sontag. It is Osama's dream propaganda coup. It is Chirac's fantasy of vindication. It is Tony Blair's nightmare. And, whether they are directly responsible or not, the people who ran this war are answerable to America, to America's allies, to Iraq, for the astonishing setback we have now encountered on their watch.

Read all of today's posts.

Tough words by Andrew Sullivan, but poignant nonetheless. I think he may have captured the root of this problem. The Bush administration has a serious task ahead of it. In the next couple months they must prove that they are in control and that they are capable of bringing democracy to the Middle East, rather than being an impediment to it. Failure to do so brings the justification for the war into question, with consequences much greater than just this administration's future.


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