Judging from some of the emails I have been getting so-called Left Hawks appear to be appearing all over the place in recent days. People who have kept their heads down amidst all the rage and fury on both sides of the debate are coming off the fence – perhaps encouraged by some well-known names in the media.
First it was Hitchens in the US, now in the UK we see newspaper columnists such as Aaronovitch and Johann Hari making a reasoned case, based on left values with a real understanding of what Blair is trying to do.
While there may be differences in tone and generally a stronger feeling among European leftists than American liberal-hawks that a second UN resolution is needed – the basic case being made is the same and there is is a strong discomfort with the ‘anti-war’ movement shared on both sides of the Atlantic.
This article by Mitchell Cohen, co-editor of the left US magazine Dissent, puts the case for action against Saddam in the language of the left and destroys most of the anti-war objections.
He ends by saying: “So I will not support an antiwar movement, even if it includes many good people. I hope, for the sake of honest public debate, that those good people keep this movement focused on Iraq. Iraqi suffering ought not to be exploited by “activists” with other agendas (such as Israel/Palestine, which has nothing to do with Saddam’s tyranny and must be addressed on its own, unhappy grounds).
In the meantime, I will support Iraqi democrats, even if they are few in number and their prospects difficult. I am antifascist before I am antiwar. I am antifascist before I am anti-imperialist. And I am antifascist before I am anti-Bush. “