March 27, 2004

O'NIHILIST O'NEILL

Brendan OíNeill, who just knows we hardline anti-terrorist types lust for massive random bomb attacks, also knows that polls reflecting post-war Iraqi happiness arenít to be trusted. The idea that Iraqi lives may have been improved by Saddamís removal seems to be difficult for Brendan to accept.

Itís kind of obvious that Brendan, although he doesn't like to admit it out loud, would secretly, guiltily welcome a disaster in Iraq as an opportunity to berate his opponents and as a reminder of his own moral indefatigability. Nice.

(Via Rob at SemiSkimmed)

UPDATE. Mark Steyn offers an alternative view:

I donít think itís possible for anyone who looks at Iraq honestly to see it as anything other than a success story. Not perfect by any means, but a year after the war was launched the glass is at least five-eighths full, and by any objective measure Iraq is immensely improved. If you belong to Not In Our Name or Environmental Choreographers Against Genocide or Spaniards For A Quiet Life or Former Tory Cabinet Ministers United For A Saddamite Restoration, you can dispute that assessment. But in doing so youíre at odds with the Iraqi people.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 27, 2004 01:45 AM
Comments

Brendon - this is rich - it is better because sanctions were lifted, not because Saddam is gone? In an article where you say it isn't better? So just which way is it? Is it better or not - you suggest both - which have you decided upon? Oh, and by the way - how do you lift sanctions when Saddam hadn't complied with the UN resolutions that resulted in their enactment? And are you bothered that the forward thinking and highly ethical country of France was paying off Saddam to get Iraq's oil and allowing funds supposedly for humanitarian relief to slide into Saddam's pockets? Oh, so sorry, hate to mess up your world view.

Posted by: JEM at March 27, 2004 at 02:49 AM

Good points Tim. I read an article in the Spectator a few weeks ago by O'Neil, in which he sought to play down Saddam's use of torture, claiming that reports of folk being fed into shredding machines were unsupported. He may have been correct but the overall tone of his article implied that Saddam's nastiness was exaggerated.

He had the good grace to admit in boilerplate fashion that "of course" Saddam was a bad man.

Believe me, in a few years' time, we will have revisionist histories of Saddam by the usual dolts of the far left and isolationist right claiming that the former dictator was quite a swell guy really. Trust me, it is going to happen.

Posted by: Tom at March 27, 2004 at 03:00 AM

Tom,

I didn't realise O'Neill wrote that shredder piece.

Well, fuck The Spectator, then. That's a few bucks saved every week from now on.

Posted by: tim at March 27, 2004 at 03:29 AM

Rehabilitating Saddam will take quite a while. After all, the massive rehab guns of the Left have barely finished with Napoleon (cf Foreign Minister of France) and are still heavily engaged with Hitler.

Posted by: Dean Douthat at March 27, 2004 at 03:50 AM

Brendon actually makes some good points, but this is the 3rd or 4th poll since the end of the war, and they have all been conducted by different groups and use different methodologies, and the results are pretty consistent. This isn't the best poll ideally, but it's the best we can do right now until there is a census and things calm down a bit more.

Posted by: Yehudit at March 27, 2004 at 05:19 AM

O'Neill is a poison spitting toad.

Posted by: Julie Cleeveley at March 27, 2004 at 05:42 AM

Wendy McElroy, a FoxNew columnist, wrote a good article on this sort of thing, href="http://http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,114991,00.html">"Reading between the numbers".

Following her simple advice against the O'Neill article, I think that the pollster, ORI, tried their best, but the results have clearly been twisted by O'Neill to support a pre-conceived notion, and slap down the report. What the original study (unfiltered by O'Neill) says must be interesting.

I know, y'all figured this one out already. But some people might want a hint on how to look at this sort of problem!

Posted by: JeffS at March 27, 2004 at 06:11 AM

Sorry, one more time.....

Wendy McElroy, a FoxNew columnist, wrote a good article on this sort of thing, "Reading between the numbers".

Following her simple advice against the O'Neill article, I think that the pollster, ORI, tried their best, but the results have clearly been twisted by O'Neill to support a pre-conceived notion, and slap down the report. What the original study (unfiltered by O'Neill) says must be interesting.

I know, y'all figured this one out already. But some people might want a hint on how to look at this sort of problem!

Posted by: JeffS at March 27, 2004 at 06:12 AM

O'Neill tries to claim that those poll results were invalid because a sample of 600 was insufficient and not correctly chosen to be representative.

How about a sample of 200,000?

200,000 Iraqis are now actively employed in the police and other Iraqi security forces. In the last year, 350 of them have died in service. That's a pretty big "vote" of confidence, if you ask me.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 27, 2004 at 06:30 AM

Saddam will be rehabilitied in less than ten years by the left.

It seems the best way to become a hero to the left is to be an enemy of the US, no matter how vile, totalitarian, murderous or insane you are.

Posted by: Quentin George at March 27, 2004 at 06:47 AM

If Brenden is less happy now than he was before, then the Iraqis must be too. And the reasons Brenden hates the US are undoubtedly the same as Osama's.

Posted by: Jack at March 27, 2004 at 11:26 AM

Brendan is just a little boy who wants to be noticed.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 27, 2004 at 12:16 PM

Is Brendan jealous of Phil Adam's success and wide influence, and therefore trying to emulate him?

Cheers
JMH

Posted by: J.M. Heinrichs at March 27, 2004 at 01:04 PM

brendan and his IRish friends such as orla Guerlin are simply believers in "the ends justify the means"
The will excuse any nonsense they spout with those arguments.
Better to lie for the greater good than to speak the truth and favour evil.
Ie the west israel america ..............

Posted by: davo at March 27, 2004 at 02:48 PM

notice how guerlin went into damage control after a palestinian cameraman made the horrific mistake of actually filming the Israelis saving the life of a young boy.
such an old hand is she at this tha wirhin seconds of straing her immpromptu "On the Scene report" she had managed to put over that the Israelis were using this young boy for propaganda purposes vis avis the western press.
i can see pert 2 alreaDY
"What has happened to pour Amil, the young boy brutally arrested by the IDF? Why has he not been returned home to his parents, who have personally told me they want him back dearly ....Some say the IDf cruelly interrogates such children who atr under the protection of the UN charter on the rights if children....
more sanctions against isreal may be required to ....
well guess she would have done well as an IRA apologist too.

Posted by: davo at March 27, 2004 at 02:59 PM

Tim, Tim, how naive of you. You've failed to focus on the single most important thing in the world--bringing down the power of the U.S. and, of course, its lackey, Israel.

Compared to that, freeing twenty million people from a murderous dictator and offering a glimmer of hope to the Arab nations is meaningless.

Posted by: Alex Bensky at March 27, 2004 at 11:03 PM

(See the Mark Steyn column directly by clicking here).

Posted by: Hovig at March 28, 2004 at 04:06 AM