—   The sharp point of dissent   —

Section: Media Monitor
1 August 2005

Charles Krauthammer and the Iraqi election

In yet another of his factless essays ('Why it deserves the Hype', Time, Feb 14, 2005), Charles Krauthammer has written a song of praise to America's second hopelessly flawed election in the middle east. Leaving aside the fact that Iraq's election was held under the jackboot of an occupying army whom most Iraqis are demanding leave the country as soon as possible (an inconveniently conspicuous expression of real Iraqi popular will which Krauthammer has to pretend ignorance of), we are sententiously told that "the sovereignty, safety and dignity of the Iraqi people are now at stake." It's worth remembering that Krauthammer stood quietly by for ten years while the safety and dignity of the Iraqi people was systematically destroyed by US-enforced sanctions responsible for wiping out half a million Iraqi children, and he never uttered a whimper of protest. But now that it's politically chic to wish the Iraqis well rather than cut off their life-saving medical supplies, Krauthammer chooses this moment to pour vitriol on everyone from the Europeans to the other Arab states (who had been calling for an end to the sanctions for years). A truly remarkable feat of mental gymnastics.

He further states: "After 9/11, we finally understood that helping build decent, representative, tolerant societies in the middle east ..." I have to stop him there and remind him that at the time of the election, the US-appointed head of this society was both a former henchman of Saddam Hussein and a longtime stooge of the occupiers. When the Vietnamese occupied Cambodia in the 1980s and performed exactly the same manoeuvre by installing ex-Khmer Rouge man Hun Sen, the US could hardly contain its ire. Again, worth remembering.

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