The Westbrook Doctrine Goes Legit
The good people at The Baltimore Sun have become the first print publication, or legit publication of any kind, to publish the Westbrook Doctrine in all its glory. The gratification is, however, somewhat tempered with frustration given that both Clinton-genital-chronicler Jonah Goldberg and leggy lefty Katrina Vanden Heuvel have taken it upon themselves to bite my shit in the past week. (Side grovel: please take no offense Mrs. Vanden Heuvel, I fall at your fabulously be-pumped feet a thousand times. Please do not instruct your subordinates to stop publishing me.)
And now for a moment of pettiness. For the record, I came up with the idea of holding a referendum of Iraqis on the question of coalition troop deployment over a year ago. I can even document that fact. In an e-mail dated 9/7/2005 I wrote to my partner in thought crime:
“One other question. It seems odd to me that I haven’t heard anyone propose a plebiscite in Iraq on the question of when or whether US forces should leave. Since the United States has staked its legitimacy on democracy in Iraq and is now facing the problem of how to leave gracefully, it seems the most morally legitimate and politically astute move would be to put the question of how long US troops should stay in Iraq to a vote by the Iraqi people. The worst outcome in the current crisis would be for the United States to slink out, making weaselly pronouncements about how Iraqis have to “fight for their own freedom” (already happening, morally reprehensible), leaving the Iraqi people to be massacred by terrorists and the country to descend into further chaos. In a plebiscite, if the people tell the US to get out, the US will be relieved of moral responsibility for the aftermath and can claim their exit as a victory for democracy. If the people tell the US to stay, staying the course will suddenly be imbued with immense legitimacy – the US will be in Iraq because the Iraqis want them there; they are acceding to the express democratic wishes of the people of Iraq.”
I then wrote the idea up as an op-ed and first pitched it on 10/19/05. Fie on the editor who turned me down, as did the editors of basically every major publication in the country in the ensuing months (not to mention the rags in Limeyland), the punk-ass biatches. Presumably things would have gone more smoothly had I been leggier, more of a noted Clinton-hater, or actually known what I was talking about (though I’ll note that the last of these does not appear to be a prerequisite for political punditry). It took a brave blogger to finally publish my work in March of this year, and a scotch-soaked exhortation to get me to put it up on this humble blog myself.
Well anyway, better late than never, though I’m not sure that little truism applies in Baghdad anymore. The Sun put my e-mail address up without asking so hopefully I’ll get a few nutcases sharing their thoughts. This nutcase has already done so. It seems only right that they reciprocate.