Breaking News: Michael Young’s Support for Iraq War Does Not Exist; Western Colonialism=Iranian Influence Today
I have not commented on a Michael Young piece in a while, but his neo-Friedmanism is too much sometimes to ignore, even if it is just polemics, as always.
He says here:
The story of the Arab world in the last decade has been one of increasing marginalization at the hands of its periphery, above all Iran, Turkey, and Israel, even if Israel’s superiority has been in relative decline when compared, let’s say, to what it was during the 1960s and 1970s. Great attention has been focused on the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which is usually interpreted as an instance of aggressive Western neo-imperialism. And yet how ironic that the Iraqi intervention allowed Iran to again throw its weight around regionally, thanks to the Bush administration’s removal of an old Iranian enemy in Saddam Hussein and his replacement by a Shiite-controlled order, many of whose representatives were close to Tehran.”
– Let us not forget that Michael Liberally supported and supports precisely this Iraq war – to the unsuspecting reader, unfamiliar with his decade of columns – one would think he was a critic! A classic Thomas Friedman slight of hand as detailed in the book Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work.
He goes on, employing a classical Youngian device: express benign puzzlement over the Arabs seemingly counter intuitive dislike for something they really should love – and which Michael LOVES – despite all the long history of suffering, abuse, violence etc which the 99% of arabs outside the elite circles of punditry must deal with:
“…It’s puzzling how many people in the Arab world appear more amenable to the regional ascendancy of Muslim states such as Iran or Turkey than to that of Western countries [hmmm I wonder why.... silly Muslims!], above all the U.S. Puzzling not because consistency requires that they should embrace Western hegemony as well, but because it requires rejecting any form of hegemony whatsoever, whatever its origin. [Not necessarily Michael]
Then, of course, the Youngian re-write of history – with all the carlessness of a converted Christopher Hitchens – rears its head:
“…Turkey and Iran are perhaps not as forceful as Western colonial powers were at the start of the last century. Still, Lebanon and Syria are close to being Iranian protectorates, and Turkey has never hesitated to enter Iraq or Syria to subdue the Kurds. When the two countries, and Israel, reflexively shape their surroundings in order to preserve their regional sway, this tells us that we are in the presence of domination not so different from the one once enforced by Western states. But then the West offers so much more convenient a target.”