Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The War-Mongering "Left"

For the past week, a prolix, pro-war, putatively leftist manifesto has circulated (it's made by Brits but has become pretty widely popular).

It's a snooze, but worth briefly skimming just so you can then read this smart, punchy Guardian response. It's one of the more rousing texts I've read from the anti-war movement.

This guy attempts to critique the critique, but he's creating a straw man (is anyone on the left as morally apathetic and cavalier as he paints all of us?). It's worth reading for the long quotes from the Chilean author and human rights advocate Ariel Dorfman (and for my half-asleep comments, in which, criticizing the author for condescension, I condescendingly write that "Dorfman's piece is sort of touching in its naivete, but many on the left had been grappling with these issues for almost a decade.")

Tags: politics, euston manifesto, left, war


  • At 7:51 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    It's a massacre of straw men, that Euston Manifesto. The repudiation of a thousand Souljahs. So stupid.

    I'll just say a couple of things:

    1. Liberals try to stop atrocities committed by our own governments rather than other governments in large part because we can, or at least we think we might be able to. What the fuck were we supposed to do about Saddam? Theoretically, however, we might be able to do something about Guantanamo, and we're under a direct moral obligation to try. This is supposedly a democracy, and we are its citizens, which implicates us in our government's acts.

    2. Um, the Euston Manifesto does not seem to end with a call to military service. Who's supposed to be doing all this high-minded intervention, exactly?

    3. We didn't invade Iraq for humanitarian reasons, and we didn't do it in a way at all respectful of international law. Pretending we did is to be willfully blind.

    4. Calling for an end to anti-Americanism in the name of a humanitarian-interventionist foreign policy is kind of laughable as long as the U.S. continues to kick sand in the world's face. It's really not other countries standing in the way of multilateral cooperation.

    5. I don't know how you can accuse other people of picking over the rubble of old justifications in a document that refuses to identify any current implications of its new philosophy. It's just lame-ass sniping. I would assume, at the very least, that this philosophy would demand an immediate deployment of troops to Darfur (by someone--is this a manifesto just for Brits or everyone everywhere?), but that's nowhere mentioned.

  • At 8:25 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Briefly: Darfur is actually their big thing now. So at least that's intellectually consistent.

    But yes, the overall argument is full of fallacies. I liked the Guardian takedown, though, didn't you? He articulated some things rather nicely.

  • At 10:07 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Yes, I liked the Guardian article.


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