Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fake lefties' manifesto

Comment on Norman Geras' article on the "Euston Manifesto" on the Guardian site:

The attitude of Geras and co. is that once the invasion of Iraq took place we should just accept it and move on. How cynical and how convenient that would be for Bush and Blair.

Geras and those of his gang who supported the Iraq War should be admitting they were wrong and apologising, as Johann Hari eventually had the decency to do in the Independent.

Geras and co. oppose those who are "anti-American" - and who might they be ? Of course he's referring to those who are critical of Bush and his gang, and of previous US adminstrations and the major corporations they are linked with. Such critics include Noam Chomsky, is he supposed to be "anti-American" ?

Later comment in reply to CoeurDeLion (TeteDeBoeuf), who said:

"sybarita (and Mickhall): Norm is a Professor of Politics, and his views on the Iraq war are sincere."

I'm sure they are sincere, more's the pity. When I did philosophy we were not expected to be in awe of titles or reputations, but to think for ourselves. Having worked in academia I am even less inclined to be in awe of professors.

"He also topped the poll for most popular blog..."

So there are a lot of people who share his views and are impressed by academic titles, again, more's the pity

"... and while he owns to being a Marxist, I deeply respect his principles. There are also some serious heavyweights in his "gang"."

Is that why they have turned out to be so wrong about Iraq ? This is not just my opinion, but, by implication, that of Johann Hari and various other former supporters of the war who've had the sense and guts to admit that they were wrong, some of them "heavyweights".

Hari's mea culpa is here.

"History has yet to judge whether the Iraq war was a mistake - whether it was right or wrong is a matter of personal conscience."

See above, and if you still haven't understood what a predictable disaster Iraq now is I'm sorry for you.

"You should have the grace to accept that the hard Left and pacifists do not have a monopoly on sincerity and conscientiousness."

Try reading carefully; I referrred specifically to the cynicism of the line about once the invasion had happened we should just accept it and move on.

"Chomsky is indeed "anti-American" in the same sense that you are." I.e. in NO sense and you're talking nonsense.

Chomsky has tirelessly pointed out the ways in which US governments have failed to live up to the the principles they claim to espouse. He regularly tours the US (as well as abroad) giving talks to packed halls - are all those Americans "anti-American"? A large proportion of the American population voted against Bush and were opposed to the attack on Iraq and today many more think that it was wrong and are critical of Bush and co. Are THEY all "anti-American" too? The "anti-American" label is an absurdity even though it's adopted by - gosh - a professor of history and some "heavyweights".


Blogger Dave said...

Some of the criticism of the way whole sections of the left have collapsed into political Islam are spot on.

It's just that this lot are making the parallel error of rushing headling into the embrace of US imperialism.

Blogger sybariter said...

Dave - I agree with thesecond part, obviously.

But which "sections of the left" have "collapsed into political Islam" ? Some evidence ? What is "political Islam" - and is there only one form of it ?


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