Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Apologists and Fellow Travellers

In today's Grauniad David Aaronovitch has a splendid piece on John Laughland the man who
...queried the idea that human rights are a problem in Belarus, or that the Serbs behaved so very savagely in Kosovo. He has defended Slobodan Milosevic, criticised the International Tribunal in the Hague and generally argued that the problem in countries normally associated with human rights abuses is, in fact, the intervention of western agencies.
There is also a discussion over at Harry's Place. Aaronovitch also makes possibly the first mainstream mention of a rather strange outfit antiwar.com.
This information comes from a US website called Antiwar.com where, for a while, Stone had a regular Thursday column. But Antiwar.com was not a leftwing site opposing the Iraq war. It was a rightwing site set up to oppose the Kosovo intervention in 1999. Its "editorial director" was a man called Justin Raimondo who was active in the small US Libertarian party before joining the Republican party. In the 1992, 1996 and 2000 elections he supported the campaigns of Pat Buchanan, the far-right isolationist candidate.

Raimondo is also an "adjunct scholar" with the Ludwig von Mises Institute. This is a libertarian think-tank in Auburn, Alabama, founded by one Lew Rockwell, who describes himself as "an opponent of the central state, its wars and its socialism".
For further details see this post. The list of fellow travellers of the Stop-The-War-Coalition is bizarre, running from the John Birch Society (as made infamous by the Bob Dylan song "Talkin John Birch Blues") to the Ludwig Von Mises Institute to old conservatives like Pat Buchanan (who see the role of government strictly limited to the defence of the rights of private property).

When you start campaigning alongside such organisations shouldn't you at least stop and think "What have we got in common?" and "Do I want to share a bed with these people?" I wouldn't even share a bowl of porridge but that's just me.

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