By Goodwin Ginger
Everyone in Canada, outside of armchair warriors, loves to make such a big deal about Iggy’s support for the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Much time has been spent trying to process Iggy’s rationale for his position. Each time Iggy speaks to the issue he changes elements of his rationale. These days Iggy is taking the position that his love for the Kurds made him do it. This is an odd position. The Kurds are one of the largest minorities in the world without a state to call their own. Geographically speaking they live under the thumb of several oppressive states: Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.
Do not expect Iggy to be pushing for an invasion of Turkey anytime soon. Indeed Turkey is a NATO ally and as recently as last month was given the green light by Iggy’s “Coalition of the Good” to bomb Iraqi Kurds. What did Iggy have to say about that? Where was his principled position?
Such questions lead in the wrong direction if one wants to come to grips with Iggy’s support for the invasion of Iraq. Unless, that is, such questions and their obvious answers lead one to consider that Iggy’s principles are different then those he has articulated.
Iggy was and is part of a new breed of post-Roosevelt reform minded liberals (in the American sense of that term). For years liberals in the US were being trounced by the right as wimps and Nancy-boy Sheila’s who were incapable of getting tough on crime, and directing American destiny in the broader international body politic. Iggy is part of that new breed of reform minded American liberal. A liberal who trades derivatives by day and fires cruise missiles by night: what others have dubbed the cruise missile left. Whether Iggy believes in these things or not is besides the point.
Post-September 11 Chomsky’s distinction without a difference melted into thin air: all Doves became Hawks. Anyone who was anybody in the US, it seemed, had to line up behind the bellicose. Anything less was unpatriotic. Add to this Iggy’s vulnerable position as a Harvard liberal and a Canadian to boot and it is not hard to see the true rationale underlying Iggy’s principled stance.
Iggy did what most other liberals did. He lurched to the right to save his own ass; to ensure his tenure as a leading American liberal. Iggy’s problem of course is that he is now a Canadian Liberal. What is Iggy suppose to say? “I took the position I did because I was career building for the US market and securing my future.”
No no no, it is much better to say I took a principled stand and point to the Kurds. The poor Kurds if they had a nickel for every politician in the west and east who at one time or another has held them up as a worthy excuse for mucking about in the middle east they would be able to buy their own state.