Sakset/Fra hofta

Konvensjonell tenkning anser Irak-invasjonen for på ingen måte å være rettferdiggjort. Men vi glemmer to ting: under Saddam døde folk i taushet. Ingen hørte deres skrik. Punkt 2: vi mener at Irak fått terrorismen til å blomstre, men glemmer at det var i de «gode gamle dager» at Osama bin Laden utstedte sin fatwa om plikten til å drepe amerikanere.

Det var da USA støttet Midtøstens dikatorer med god samvittighet at Osama bin Laden erklærte USA krig. Det var ikke Georg W. Bush sitt forsøk på å bringe demokrati til Midtøsten som utløste dette. Skriver Roger Cohen i en kommentar i New York Times.

Paul Berman, a political historian, has a useful phrase to characterize American Middle East policy over the six decades before the Iraq invasion: the pursuit of «malign stability.»

This approach, involving acquiescence to dictatorships in the name of stable repression and a stable oil supply, found its vilest expression in U.S. support of Saddam through his 1980s war with Iran (about 1 million dead) and the Kurdish genocide of 1988.

Backing turned to indifference when, in 1991, Saddam slaughtered Iraqi Shiites and Kurds whom the United States had encouraged to rise up. As malignity goes, that takes some beating.

The price of «stability» safeguarded by cynicism is worth recalling at a time when the Middle East’s name is instability. Whatever else the bungled Iraq operation has been, it marked the end of American buttressing of a poisonous Middle Eastern stasis and a murderous Stalinist regime.

It is also worth recalling that it was in the time of quiet malevolence, back in 1998, that Osama bin Laden declared: «To kill Americans and their allies – civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim.»

Malign stability did not work, not in Iraq or Saudi Arabia. It produced a backlash that ended America’s self-image as sanctuary protected by two wide oceans.

The global jihadists were not created by the Iraq invasion. They were thriving on American policy prior to it.

art er sub only