That was then, this is now


Robert Kagan contrasts the unwillingness of the usual suspects (the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other members of the lib—left establishment) to see any overarching Communist connections in the international left wing movements of the past, with their current eagerness to pronounce Iraq's Shiites as obviously part of a vast Iran—dominated Shiite conspiracy:

Compare liberal and journalistic open—mindedness during the Cold War, when the subject was communism, with the remarkable rigidity from these same quarters today when it comes to a very different group of people: Shiite Muslims. The votes were still being counted in Iraq this month when the New York Times reported in the opening sentence of a front—page article that the likely winners of the Iraqi election were "an alliance of Shiite parties dominated by religious groups with strong links to Iran." The Post went the Times one better 10 days later with this sensational headline: "Iraq Winners Allied With Iran Are the Opposite of U.S. Vision." Columnist Robert Scheer wants to know "why the United States has spent incalculable fortunes in human life, taxpayer money and international goodwill to break Iraq and then remake it in the image of our avowed 'axis of evil' enemy next door." Or as James Carville says more pithily: "We done trade a half—a—trillion dollars for a pro—Iran government!"

So much for the subtle distinctions of the past. So much for complexity. And so much for letting a little time pass before jumping to alarmist conclusions that are likely to prove, shall we say, simplistic.

Thomas Lifson  2 18 05