Monday, February 03, 2003

Yes, Give in to the Dark Side . . .

Good, young Burchill. I can feel your anger. Take your word processor -- strike them down with all of your reason and your journey to the anti-idiotarian side will be complete."

The left has some darned good writers, including some, like Cockburn, who still haven't seen the light. On the other hand, the Guardian's Julie Burchill has done a full Hitchens, and just published a piece savaging the rank-and-file anti-war protesters. I think you should read the whole thing, but couldn't resist grabbing some of the sweetest fruit. (Via Andrew Sullivan).

When you look back at the common sense and progressiveness of arguments against American intervention in Vietnam, Chile and the like, you can't help but be struck by the sheer befuddled babyishness of the pro-Saddam apologists:

1) "It's all about oil!" Like hyperactive brats who get hold of one phrase and repeat it endlessly, this naive and prissy mantra is enough to drive to the point of madness any person who actually attempts to think beyond the clich├ęs. Like "Whatever!" it is one of the few ways in which the dull-minded think they can have the last word in any argument. So what if it is about oil, in part? Are you prepared to give up your car and central heating and go back to the Dark Ages? If not, don't be such a hypocrite. The fact is that this war is about freedom, justice - and oil. It's called multitasking. Get used to it!

. . .

4) "Saddam Hussein may have killed hundreds of thousands of his own people - but he hasn't done anything to us! We shouldn't invade any country unless it attacks us!" I love this one, it's so mind-bogglingly selfish - and it's always wheeled out by people who call themselves "internationalists", too. These were the people who thought that a population living in terror under the Taliban was preferable to a bit of liberating foreign fire power, even fighting side by side with an Afghani resistance.
. . .

If you really think it's better for more people to die over decades under a tyrannical regime than for fewer people to die during a brief attack by an outside power, you're really weird and nationalistic and not any sort of socialist that I recognise. And that's where you link up with all those nasty rightwing columnists who are so opposed to fighting Iraq; they, too, believe that the lives of a thousand coloured chappies aren't worth the death of one British soldier. Military inaction, unless in the defence of one's own country, is the most extreme form of narcissism and nationalism; people who preach it are the exact opposite of the International Brigade, and that's so not a good look.

5) "Ooo, your friends smell!" Well, so do yours. We may be saddled with Bush and Blair, but you've got Prince Charles (a big friend of the Islamic world, probably because of its large number of feudal kingdoms and hardline attitude to uppity women), the Catholic church (taking a brief break from buggering babies to condemn any western attack as "morally unacceptable") and posturing pansies such as Sean Penn, Sheryl Crow and Damon Albarn.

Oh, and we've also got Condoleezza Rice, the coolest, cleverest, most powerful black woman since Cleopatra, and you've got the Mothers' Union, with their risible prayer for Iraq's people, a prime piece of prissy, pacifist twaddle that even Hallmark "Forever Friends" would reject as not intellectually or aesthetically rigorous enough.