Sunday, January 21, 2007

'Socialism of fools' alive and well

Nick Cohen, a journalist who saw through Blair and all his works well before most, has an insightful article, ("The world turned upside down"), plugging a forthcoming book, in today's 'Observer'. Cohen, of course supported the Iraq war, though he now seems to accept that it was, maybe, not such a good idea. Lots of decent people also supported the war, for the best of reasons. Just as lots of fascists, anti-semites, escaped Quakers and little-Englanders opposed it. Cohen quotes the South American playwright Ariel Dorfman's 2003 letter to an 'unknown Iraqi', which sums up my own feelings at the time , much more eloquently than I could:

"What right does anyone have to deny you and your fellow Iraqis that liberation from tyranny? What right do we have to oppose the war the United States is preparing to wage on your country if it could, indeed, result in the ousting of Saddam Hussein?"...

Cohen comments: "His (Dorfman's) reply summed up the fears of tens of millions of people. War would destabilise the Middle East and recruit more fanatics to terrorist groups. It would lead to more despots 'pre-emptively arming themselves with all manner of apocalyptic weapons and , perhaps, to Armageddon'. Dorfman also worried about the casualties - which - I guess, were far higher than he imagined - and convinced himself that the right course was to demand that Bush and Blair pull back. Nevertheless, he retained the breadth of mind and generosity of spirit to sign off with 'heaven help me, I am saying that I care more about the future of this sad world than about the future of your unprotected children'".

There's much more good stuff in Cohen's article, but the most revealing material of all is the readers' comments, where anti-semites assume that Cohen is Jewish (he isn't - as it happens): the socialism of fools is, indeed, alive and well. And it thinks it's "left-wing".


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