Friday, October 27, 2006

Chaldean blood is thicker than Shi'ite?

Is sort of my impression of reading this. It is, predictably enough, a diatribe from The American Conservative which claims that evangelicals who supported the war in Iraq are now disinterested in the fate of its Christian community. For Mark and others who agree with his paleocon anti-war sentiments, the implication is clear that if we had just left Saddam in power the Chaldeans would continue to exist as a museum fixture for his regime.

Ignoring the fact that the implications of this position is one of the worst moral arguments I have ever seen Mark make ("Saddam can slaughter his population all he wants just so long as he doesn't touch our favorite minority") it also ignores the facts as to who is doing the killing, meaning primarily al Qaeda and its allies. To blame supporters of the war who want to see these groups fought and defeated for the deaths of Iraqi Christians (just as Mark apparently now seeks to hold them morally responsible for all deaths in Iraq) is an exercise in moral inversion and more or less holds that poor little Muslims just can't handle not living under a dictator and hence shouldn't be held accountable for their actions, only the people who removed their tyrant.

I'm sorry, but this makes about as much sense as blaming the police for the actions of criminals in the ghetto (indeed, it makes about as much sense) that you see in some circles. Muslims, like your average slum dwellers, are not Martians and possess as much of a free will as anyone else on the planet. Blaming evangelical supporters of the war for the deaths of Iraqi Christians serves to exculpate al Qaeda for its actions. And you'll forgive me for not calling Mark on that as nothing short of morally reprehensible.

As an addendum, how exactly is the future of Chaldean community in Iraq that Mark claims is so near and dear to his heart (assuming that he isn't just using it as a rhetorical club, unlike Mark I possess no charism of telepathy) going to be served by the US following his stated wishes and leaving Iraq? Does anyone reading this truly believe that completely abandoning the Chaldeans to al Qaeda and Muqtada al-Sadr is likely to end the violence directed against it?

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