Monday, October 18, 2004

The road less travelled. . .

Harry comments on the unpleasant path taken by the "Left" over the past 18 months.

Several weeks ago The Guardian carried a review by Sir Ian Gilmore of a book on Brown and Blair (by James Naughtie). The next week the SWP stalwart Keith Flett wrote how Gilmore's criticisms could have come from a RESPECT pamphlet and how it is impossible to criticise Blair from the Right. He obviously has not come across these people at

As far as I can tell these see themselves as Old Conservatives who dislike Bush, and have a whiff of anti-semitism about their politics. Witness this piece on the film Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear, & the Selling of American Empire. Although disparaging of all left-wing trappings at the showing the author approves of the revealing of the "key role played by the neoconservatives in agitating for and rationalizing the invasion of Iraq". In this revealing passage
I really really like this movie, but it isn't without faults. Where Hijacking Catastrophe falls down is in its analysis of the Clinton years. They don't mention the Iraq Liberation Act, passed in the Clinton era, and with full Democratic party support, which first proclaimed "regime change" as a matter of official policy. Nor do they mention, even in passing, the pioneering role of the Clintonites in pushing the idea of "humanitarian" interventionism, as in Haiti, Bosnia, and the former Yugoslavia. The neocons may have been largely out of government during the Clinton years, but this is to ignore the neocon network inside the Democratic party. If the Weekly Standard is the flagship organ of the neocon GOPers, then its Democratic party equivalent is The New Republic, which has been practically the house organ of the War Party since the days of Woodrow Wilson. Two of the leading Democratic presidential primary contenders, Dick Gephardt and Joe Lieberman, vocally supported the decision to go to war, and continue to do so. All this goes politely unmentioned, along with the decades-long history of the neoconservatives, which is nowhere even touched on. Yet it's common knowledge they're all former "Scoop" Jackson Democrats, with their intellectual forefathers (Irving Kristol and Max Shachtman) coming straight out of the Trotskyist sects of the 1930s and into the Democratic party.
it does seem to make the appalling connection "neocon" equals Jew and this war is but a Jewish conspiracy against the true interests of the American politic.

As far as I can tell this site is connected to the von Mises Institute and Lew Rockwell, organisations based on restoring the old Conservative traditions (whatever they are).

Their opposition to war is possibly based on the stance that "Successful wars send the message that our freedoms are secured only by armed agents of central power, and many are tempted to cede control of their lives to the executive state that prosecuted the war" (Llewellyn H Rockwell Jr) from the site (I have lost the specific detailed link). So war is bad as it encourages people to support a big state. There's a principled stand for you.

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