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Friday, June 17, 2005

Those who were right will be punished

Billmon points out that Bangalore Tom Friedman ("Mr. Globalony") is helping Ann Coulter and other neonuts in preparing the way towards blaming the anti-war left for ongoing American defeat in Iraq ("the sinking of the U.S.S. Mission Accomplished"):
Having led America to a thoroughly humiliating defeat in Iraq, the neocons and their Texas protégés will soon have an urgent need for scapegoats of their own. So will the journalistic and foreign policy elites who rushed to join Shrub’s march of folly like the children of Hamlin following the pied piper. So will the Israel lobby. So will the pro-war Democrats.

The best scapegoat, of course, is one that is both blameless and weak. Blameless, because it relieves the truly guilty parties of the need to decide who among them must take the fall. Weak, because the guilty themselves have been weakened by defeat, and even a modest defense might enable a truly blameless set of scapegoats to convince the country of their innocence.

The antiwar left would seem to fit the bill quite nicely. It has little money, no power, few friends among the pundit class, and has largely been shunned by the leaders of the supposed opposition party – with the exception of Dr. Dean, and even he knows enough to keep his distance. Unlike the antiwar libertarians, the antiwar left is not useful to the administration on other issues, like Social Security privatization. And, since the antiwar movement has been effectively blacked out in the media and is rarely visible in the streets, it certainly can’t be rationally blamed for failure in Iraq – which means it almost certainly will be blamed, and not just by Tom Friedman.