Moral Clarity Lives On

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Okay, this is going to get shrill, but I honestly can’t believe what I’m reading here. Glenn Reynolds is daydreaming about a possible Sunni-Shiite civil war in Iraq, and some of what he says makes analytic sense, but then he includes this little quote: “It would be ugly to watch and bad for America’s reputation, but few could say, in this scenario, that the Sunnis had not brought it on themselves.” Yeah, and the hundreds of thousands of Sunnis who aren’t part of Zarqawi’s merry band of lunatics, who just want to get on with their lives, but who would almost certainly get caught in the crossfire of a full-scale civil-sectarian war? What about them? Brought it on themselves, perhaps?

Now it’s not always pleasant to contemplate the idea that wars are often started by a handful of lunatics who end up getting lots and lots of innocent bystanders killed, but that’s what would be going on here. I have no idea whether a sectarian war in Iraq is inevitable, or ultimately necessary for stability, or what have you, but it’s well beyond appalling to say that the Sunnis have “brought it on themselves.” Meanwhile, you have Helena Cobban arguing that if the United States withdrew from Iraq, there might be some bloodshed, but at least the U.S. will no longer be “morally responsible.” Right. I for one can’t wait until we invade the next country on our little list, fail to provide security, squander reconstruction funds, purge the government and military of one ethnic or sectarian group, stock the army with militiamen from an opposing group, and then tell everyone it’s their own damn fault when civil war breaks out. Not our problem.

UPDATE: Okay, okay. Reading through the post again, to say that Glenn Reynolds was “daydreaming” about a civil war was extremely unfair. Slimy even. “Thinking through” would be more apt. Apologies. (I’m serious.)

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate