Thursday, January 11, 2007

Do the right thing

Pity the growing discomfiture of David Brooks, the designated conservative voice of the Op-Ed page of the New York Times and the NewsHour on PBS.

Although David appears to be just as disenchanted as the two-thirds of Americans who are fed up with the dishonesty and ineptitude of the Bush administration on Iraq, Katrina and assorted other matters, he can’t say so.

His lucrative and highly visible media gigs require him to remain a vigorous apologist for the White House, the Republican Party and other bastions of conservative thought.

This is forcing David, who appears to be an otherwise intellectually honest guy, to concoct increasingly contorted and disingenuous arguments in the interests of maintaining his franchise.

He may have a hit a new low today.

Even though David is clearly squeamish about sending additional troops to Iraq, his column says the Democrats are “partly to blame” for the upcoming escalation because they “never came up with anything remotely serious” to avoid it. “So,” he concludes, “we are stuck with the Bush proposal as the only serious plan on offer.”

Excuse me, Dave, but don’t you think a growing majority of Americans are serious when they say they want all of our troops to come home within 12 months, if not sooner?

The mendacious and ill-conceived Bush invasion of Iraq is not entirely responsible for the bloodshed destroying that unfortunate land. Most of the violence today results from deep religious and ethnic rivalries suppressed under Saddam Hussein after he took control of a country established as an arbitrary political construct by the British in a last gasp of colonial pretension.

The presence of American troops is not going to speed the resolution of these ancient antagonisms. Far from helping, the ad hoc and incompetently executed American occupation is inciting a higher level of violence than would be the case if the Iraqis were left to sort out matters on their own. The occupation not only postpones the day of reckoning for the beleaguered region but will increase the bloodshed unconscionably for as long as it continues.

David Brooks knows this full well.

As one of the foremost conservative commentators in the mainstream media, David could clear his conscience and save countless lives if he forthrightly called for a prompt conclusion to the fiasco in Iraq.

It's time for him to come clean and do the right thing.