hari on cohen

24 Jul

Tom Miller’s NewerLabour blog is one of my favourite leftie blogs. Today he has posted Johan Hari’s criticism of Nick Cohen and his What’s Left? polemic (my thoughts: here and here).

Money shot:

Just as Cohen blames Keynes for the problems stemming from Versailles, when all he did was accurately predict its effects, so he blames liberals and left-wingers for accurately predicting how the war would pan out. They did not hate Bush because he was for democracy; they hated Bush because they knew that it would not be the outcome of this war. Cohen presents the Iraq war repeatedly as a choice between democracy and tyranny, and damns the left for picking the wrong side. But the liberal-left opponents of the war said this was, in reality, a choice between tyranny and more-bloodshed-then-another-tyranny. Those of us who made a mistake in supporting the war should be honest enough to admit they were right. Real democracy in Iraq – and elsewhere – would require us to build a world where the choices are far better than that between George Bush and Saddam Hussein.

As I said back in May: I’m sorry, but even if I was opposed to the invasion of Iraq, it doesn’t then connote that I wanted to see the enterprise fail, and watch the country descend into the chaos that now engulfs it. Fuck you Nick; you lazy bastard. That’s not good enough. You sound like someone defending the indefensible to me (i.e. falling back on every fallacy in the book).

It tears me apart to see charred dead babies on the streets of Baghdad. I have real difficulty knowing that we are – through our democratic political system – collectively responsible for unleashing this plague of violence on Iraq. And all the anti-neocon Schadenfreude in the world won’t make that guilt go away.

Nick, if you’re forsaking the Left en route to your evitable middle-aged migration to the right, then do it quietly and fuck off. The last thing the ‘new left’ needs is a resentful, self-hating old bastard, who can’t quite get to grips with his own Damascene conversion, having a dig week-after-week.

Advertisements

10 Responses to “hari on cohen”

  1. pepeperez67@hotmail.com July 25, 2007 at 6:07 am #

    Let’s expect good sense prevails and those who are now attempting to do away with democratic principles are placed where they deserve. Rumours consistently grow that the Bush administration is pursuing something more important than the mere ousting and death of Saddam.

  2. pepeperez67@hotmail.com July 25, 2007 at 6:07 am #

    Let’s expect good sense prevails and those who are now attempting to do away with democratic principles are placed where they deserve. Rumours consistently grow that the Bush administration is pursuing something more important than the mere ousting and death of Saddam.

  3. aaronsheath@gmail.com July 25, 2007 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Jose,Iraq is a failed experiment. All the planned objectives have failed: -The US grip on global power has loosenedOil production is poor, and the barrel price remains highThe dream of one-party rule is over in the USDemocracy in the ME is no closerIraq is a training ground for fundamentalist fightersWe have taken our eye off the ball in AfghanistanThe world, especially the ME, seems more unstableThe USA has an enormous war-debt, and its military is weakenedThe Presidency of George Walker Bush will never be forgotten. As a Spaniard, Jose, does he remind you of Philip II?

  4. aaronsheath@gmail.com July 25, 2007 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Jose,Iraq is a failed experiment. All the planned objectives have failed: -The US grip on global power has loosenedOil production is poor, and the barrel price remains highThe dream of one-party rule is over in the USDemocracy in the ME is no closerIraq is a training ground for fundamentalist fightersWe have taken our eye off the ball in AfghanistanThe world, especially the ME, seems more unstableThe USA has an enormous war-debt, and its military is weakenedThe Presidency of George Walker Bush will never be forgotten. As a Spaniard, Jose, does he remind you of Philip II?

  5. pepeperez67@hotmail.com July 25, 2007 at 7:28 pm #

    I am not fond of monarchies, nor am I of totalitarianisms. The alleged glory of Spain’s “achievements” since the reunification under the Catholic Monarchs, going through Charles V’s Empire under which the sun never set and ending with Philip II plus the different kings and queens thereafter, the people of Spain never achieved anything but their blood spilt everywhere the thirst of conquest moved its monarchs and their closest cabals to get them, in connivance with the Church. It was the zenith of both Empires: the country’s monarchs’ and the Church’s.But never the people’s.The same happens everywhere else in the world. Forget democracy, it had a timid rise and a quick end.

  6. pepeperez67@hotmail.com July 25, 2007 at 7:28 pm #

    I am not fond of monarchies, nor am I of totalitarianisms. The alleged glory of Spain’s “achievements” since the reunification under the Catholic Monarchs, going through Charles V’s Empire under which the sun never set and ending with Philip II plus the different kings and queens thereafter, the people of Spain never achieved anything but their blood spilt everywhere the thirst of conquest moved its monarchs and their closest cabals to get them, in connivance with the Church. It was the zenith of both Empires: the country’s monarchs’ and the Church’s.But never the people’s.The same happens everywhere else in the world. Forget democracy, it had a timid rise and a quick end.

  7. aaronsheath@gmail.com July 26, 2007 at 8:55 am #

    Your words have the cynicism of age. But I respect your wisdom Jose. The young, however, must dream of a better world… or should we give up?I think if a man has family and a woman who loves him (trusting it be a woman he wants!), that should be enough for life to be worth living.The world changes. We must make sure those who would change it for the best are energised.

  8. aaronsheath@gmail.com July 26, 2007 at 8:55 am #

    Your words have the cynicism of age. But I respect your wisdom Jose. The young, however, must dream of a better world… or should we give up?I think if a man has family and a woman who loves him (trusting it be a woman he wants!), that should be enough for life to be worth living.The world changes. We must make sure those who would change it for the best are energised.

  9. pepeperez67@hotmail.com July 27, 2007 at 5:34 am #

    The problem is, Tyger, what do the young understand for a better world?

  10. pepeperez67@hotmail.com July 27, 2007 at 5:34 am #

    The problem is, Tyger, what do the young understand for a better world?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s