Until yesterday I’m pretty sure I had never read anything written by Andrew Bolt. It’s strange really, given both the praise and condemnation I’ve heard about him, but the truth is I’ve just never read where he writes. He’s given himself some incredible airtime today – getting a mention on Instapundit, the blog that receives the most daily hits in the world. Glenn Reynold’s (of Instapundit) was revisiting some left-bashing, particularly of anti-war people – and Andrew Bolt sent him an article from the Herald Sun in 2003 entitled They Were Wrong so that Glenn could
pad out even further [his] list of dud predictions and gloating over Iraq.
The column referred to by Bolt was his own, and he may well have have just made himself the most famous Australian columnist in the world. The article (14 April 2003) is basically a list of ‘errors’ of the left, both in predictions and desired outcomes. The general tone is one of exultant gloating over how wrong the ‘left’ was. Quite understandable given its timing just after the famous toppling of the statue of Saddam – I can honestly say that event left me with a tear in my eye thinking, “It’s really worked, and they’re so happy”.
If you read the article in full (I would post the article in full but I suspect that would be a breach of copyright, and I found it through factiva, which I have access through to university) you would see, amongst other things, these two sections either Bolt didn’t forward or Glenn chose not to quote:
Saddam is gone, and his worst weapons will be found and destroyed.
The confidence in the claim of weapons of mass destruction that would be an imminent threat to the safety of the United States was, and has been proven to be, entirely unfounded. There haven’t been any WMDs found, so none to be destroyed.
But however Iraq turns out, we at least know it is no longer a threat. And whatever troubles it faces, they will not be greater than the horrors it has endured.
True, for a time the country will be so crippled by this war and the sectarian violence we’re seeing now that it won’t be a threat, but if threat to us is the criterion, it seems clear Iraq wasn’t. Now? If anything Iraq can now become the new Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, a breeding ground of insurgents, receiving their terrorism training against the heaviest armed force there is, the US Army. And I think even I would prefer the uncertainty and fear of living under a tyrant than the daily mortal dread of suicide bombers, stray bullets, a society collapsing on itself and now the lack of trust in my Sunni/Shia neighbour. So I don’t think any gloating can be done about the success of the ‘War on Terror’, and no gloating should be done about it’s failure.
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