Tim Blair


New Criterion



Friday, May 09, 2003
THE PROGRESSIVE FORCES are at loggerheads on Iraq. This surprises Uncle who thought there was close enough to unanimity for government work.

But according to Late Night Live, Auntiques all over the world are deeply split between the "liberal" left prepared to support the liberation of Iraq, and the anti-US, pacifist left. Where have those Australian liberals been hiding these last 12 months?

"All the evidence was that the Iraqi people wanted their regime overthrown", Johann Hari a UK member of that liberal left, and a writer on the Guardian, tells us.

Not so, says the US anti-capitalist from Paris, Diana Johnstone . Liberation must come from within. Even the anti-fascist alliance in WWII was unnecessary.

"It is simple and clear to everybody that the US is embarked on a campaign of world conquest!" she raves. Endorsing the US's action in Iraq is just like the Munich endorsement of Hitler's aggression.

The man from the Salon, Edward Lempinen, Senior News Editor, claims that a pro-war left emerged among their readers in the course of the Iraq war. He wants a role in defining a democratic Iraq. Despite the fact that George Bush is "dangerous".

Auntie's favourite local Maoist, Scott Burchill, agrees with Uncle that the Aussie left was practically unanimous in their opposition to the war of liberation. Who counts Albert Langer anyway? You can't go around liberating peoples just because they want it; it's in conflict with the sovereignty of nations, says this classical statist Marxist.

And so it goes on.

I suppose it's a good thing that parts of the left are trying to define a post-Iraq position that gives them a few rags of credibility.

Uncle won't be putting a penny in their bowl.