Comments: DISGUSTING

But these are Palistinean stamps, not French ones. Suppose that Saddam had issued stamps with the famous picture of him shaking hands with Rumsfeld in 1983, both with big grins. Would that make you sick, and if so who would the object of your disgust be, Iraq or us?

Posted by Pericles at September 24, 2005 09:06 PM

Um, yes, that too would make me sick. That said, I still think the two situations are a bit different. We backed Iraq over Iran as a lesser of two evils, and I bet anything that Rumsfeld wishes he could make that photo disappear. Can you show me any time that France has shown regret or disgust over supporting Arafat? We admit it sucks that we supported Saddam; Arafat died in the comfort of France.

Posted by Sarah at September 24, 2005 10:40 PM

Yes, I certainly agree that Rumsfeld would give anything for that picture not to exist, LOL. :) Look, I don't have any great love of either the French or of Arafat, so I'm not exactly on the opposite of this from you. But I think the picture with Rummy and Saddam illustrates the fact that in foreign policy we tend to pursue our own perceived interests, even when these conflict with higher principles, and this is certainly no less true under Republican presidents than Democratic ones. We therefore can't get too high up on our high horses when other countries do the same.

P.S. Just a reminder: We already had intel indicating that Iraq had used poison gas against Iranians and Kurds when that photo was taken. So when Rumsfeld talks about how it was obvious that we had to invade Iraq in order to take out a leader who would do such things, remember that knowledge of these crimes didn't keep Rummy from making nice-nice with Saddam when he thought there was some short-term benefit for us involved. There were some things to be said in favor of this war that made some kind of sense, even though the case against was stronger in the end. Saddam was a butcher. But how can we take a point like that seriously out of the mouth of a person who was so obviously personally untroubled by it? And if the press is really so liberal, why wasn't this picture on the nightly news every night, instead of just on liberal blogs?

Posted by Pericles at September 24, 2005 11:05 PM