George Will: The problem with Iraq is that they're all savages

George Will, kvetching about Rumsfeld's parting shot, had this to say:


It is beyond dispiriting that after 45 months of war an American official can think that this semi-genocidal conflict over the survival of groups divided about the meaning of God's will can now be dampened by clever economics.
And this, about the Baker-Hamilton report:
The ISG's central conclusion, important to say with the group's imprimatur even though the conclusion is obvious, is that the problem with Iraq is the Iraqis, a semi-nation of peoples who are very difficult to help.
Portraying the Iraqis as a bunch of irrational, bloodthirsty savages -- people fighting over some religious arcana who are "very difficult to help" -- is the latest craze on the right. Last week, the ever-charming Bill O'Reilly said:
Do I care if the Sunnis and Shiites kill each other in Iraq? No… Let them kill each other. Maybe they'll all kill each other, and then we can have a decent country in Iraq.
This is a particularly disgusting bit of historical revisionism, but it's also quite familiar. It recalls 19th-century Europeans (and Americans) who embraced the idea that colonized peoples were infantile and incapable of self-governance. It shares the same roots as Jim Crow, which was largely justified by the idea that the newly freed slaves were incapable of functioning without the guidance of their former masters. It's social Darwinism, as clear as day.

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