From Missing Links.
A couple of “moderate” writers in a time of crisis
For pan-Arab writers like Abdulbari Atwan of Al-Quds al-Arabi, there was never any doubt about the nature of Bush-administration policy in Iraq and the whole region. It is anti-Arab and anti-Muslim. But “moderate” Arab writers have traditionally kept open the defence of incompetence or other extenuating circumstances. For one moderate writer, it seems as if something in his way of thinking snapped as a result of the Saddam lynching. Here’s Daoud Shiryan writing on the opinions page of the moderate newspaper Al-Hayat yesterday:
Today, after the boasts of Maliki about the execution of Saddam in this barbaric way, and the agreement of the American government to this hanging, in this grotesque way counter to all American and human values, we need to stop talking about the American policy mistakes in Iraq, because what they are doing in that country is in pursuance of an intentional and a filthy plan, [where] they dissolved the Iraqi army, and then it was up to us [Arabs] to find excuses for their policies, undertaken in deliberate ignorance of regional history and Iraqi social structure, and when they permitted the adoption of a constitution that ended the Arab nature of Iraq, we called that democracy, but then came the execution of Saddam, and [finally] it was made clear to us that Washington is acting according to a savagery that is unprecedented, and they are now supporting a gang of Shiites to take the place of the neo-cons in the project that they call the new Iraq…
In other words, says Shiryan, the days when you could argue that the Americans were making mistakes in the region are over. It is an ugly thing to have to admit, but they are clearly acting deliberately, and the days of excusing them for making “mistakes” are over.
Read the rest here.