I’ve long been an admirer of Julie Burchill’s aggressive writing and was waiting and waiting for her verdict on Iraq. Well here it is in today’s Guardian and it is a truly superb piece of Burchill – effectively the socialist case for war, or perhaps more accurately the socialist case against the ‘anti-war movement’
She rips to shreds, in her own unique way, the arguements we have all heard a million times. Do read the whole thing but here is just a taster of her tackling but one of the standard refrains of the isolationist left:
“Saddam Hussein may have killed hundreds of thousands of his own people – but he hasn’t done anything to us! We shouldn’t invade any country unless it attacks us!” I love this one, it’s so mind-bogglingly selfish – and it’s always wheeled out by people who call themselves “internationalists”, too. These were the people who thought that a population living in terror under the Taliban was preferable to a bit of liberating foreign fire power, even fighting side by side with an Afghani resistance.
On this principle, if we’d known about Hitler gassing the Jews all through the 1930s, we still shouldn’t have invaded Germany; the Jews were, after all, German citizens and not our business. If you really think it’s better for more people to die over decades under a tyrannical regime than for fewer people to die during a brief attack by an outside power, you’re really weird and nationalistic and not any sort of socialist that I recognise.