Roger L. Simon

Ivins Eats Crow

I missed the recanting by reified liberal columnist Molly Ivins on July 12, but perhaps that’s because it was buried beneath some blather about deregulation and power grids. [No, it’s not. Be honest. You don’t read her anymore.-ed. Okay, I admit it.] Anyway, here’s the recanting:

CROW EATEN HERE: This is a horror. In a column written June 28, I asserted that more Iraqis (civilians) had now been killed in this war than had been killed by Saddam Hussein over his 24-year rule. WRONG. Really, really wrong.

The only problem is figuring out by how large a factor I was wrong. I had been keeping an eye on civilian deaths in Iraq for a couple of months, waiting for the most conservative estimates to creep over 20,000, which I had fixed in my mind as the number of Iraqi civilians Saddam had killed.

The high-end estimate of Iraqi civilian deaths in this war is 100,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University study published in the British medical journal The Lancet last October, but I was sticking to the low-end, most conservative estimates because I didn’t want to be accused of exaggeration.

Ha! I could hardly have been more wrong, no matter how you count Saddam’s killing of civilians. According to Human Rights Watch, Hussein killed several hundred thousand of his fellow citizens.

I don’t like to use profanity on here, but my only response to that is – No shit, Sherlock! Where were you? Anyone with the slightest interest in the facts would have known this… in fact knew this… for years. So why not Ivins? I assume she has an IQ in triple digits, so the only explanation is willful ignorance – the kind that comes from ideological bias of the most extreme sort. I imagine Ivins would be appalled by the comparison, but this is exactly the kind of blindness that allowed people in the 1930s and 40s to excuse Stalin up to and even after the Hitler Pact. It is also almost precisely what has driven people like me and many readers of this blog away from conventional liberalism. The battle is now… as it was then… against fascism in its various guises. I invite people like Ivins to wake up and join. (ht: Catherine Johnson)