"It seems unlikely that many of the so-called peace marchers who trooped through Washington and London two weekends back listened last Thursday - at least not with an open mind or sympathy - to George Bush's cogent explanation of why coalition troops are fighting and dying in Iraq.
"The sacrifice of US soldiers, of their coalition allies and of Iraqis is horrifically painful. But if we can stay long enough to enable the Iraqis to lay the firm foundation of civil society, their deaths will not be in vain. We should leave when the elected Iraqi government asks us to do so."
Same old arguments, nothing new to offer. Shawcross suggests the Western forces in Iraq are on a noble mission to bring democracy and freedom to the country. Only Bush, Blair and Howard clones still believe this anymore.
Interestingly, the LA Times originally published this Shawcross article on October 9. The headline? "Peace is not the answer." But ongoing violence and war clearly is.
Shawcross seems incapable of understanding that the mayhem will only intensify as Western troops remain in Iraq. As more of the country falls to the insurgency, perhaps ideologues like Shawcross will understand that the American, British and Australian troops have neither legitimacy nor right to remain in the country. And no matter how much Shawcross wishes it was different, people like him are contributing to our leader's ongoing delusions of "victory."
UPDATE: Letter writers in the LA Times respond to Shawcross. One example:
"I don't need to be lectured by Shawcross on who he feels is moral. Regardless of his endorsement of staying the course, he refuses to admit the lies that got the coalition in Iraq in the first place. That would make those so-called peace marchers who he claims are not open-minded or lack sympathy considerably more moral than he is."