An Aussie gets it:
[F]or many on the left, George Bush is a dangerous religion-driven idiot who represents all that is rotten about America. This accounts for the fact that in the main the left have failed to support their counterparts – social democrats, trade unionists, feminists – in Iraq and indeed throughout the Middle East, having identified Bush as a bigger danger to the world than terrorists and their sponsors.
Then there’s Bush himself, who might have been right – may still be right – about the threat posed by bin Ladenism and Islamist totalitarianism, not to mention the Shiite radicalism of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but who even some of his most ardent supporters admit has proved to be a largely incompetent president whose Administration is responsible for blunder after blunder, not only in Iraq but also in its dealings with North Korea and Iran and – above all – in fighting the ideological battle against Islamist totalitarianism.
But five years after September 11 it seems incontrovertible to me that in a number of different ways, liberal democracies are locked in a struggle against the adherents of an ideology whose theorists, leaders and supporters are prepared to do anything to weaken and, if possible, destroy liberal secularism and its despised manifestations – feminism, homosexuality, godlessness, materialism, to name just a few.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the war there, Iraq is now a battleground in that struggle. It always was, but not for the reasons that Bush – and John Howard – gave for going to war to remove Saddam.
I would have thought that in Iraq and in Iran and throughout the Middle East, despite the disdain for Bush and all his works, social democrats and feminists, indeed the broad left, owe their brothers and sisters – and comrades – in the region more than just silence and Bush hatred.
I would have thought so too.
(Hat tip: normblog.)
I’m still in holiday mode and not yet capable of serious blogging, thank Christ – if you were to ask me right now what I thought of Gilad Atzmon I’d say “Gilad who? Oh, the saxophonist who no-one’s heard of. Well, who actually cares what I think of him?” If you were to ask me about the Respect Stop the Something or Other Coalition I’d say “Well, it gives them something to do on a Saturday”. But in the opening sentence of Gene’s post I couldn’t help noticing the words “George Bush is a dangerous religion-driven idiot who represents all that is rotten about America”. I wouldn’t really argue with that particularly, and I suspect it’s a sentiment that might extend well beyond many on the left. I’d imagine that a Matthew Parris or a Simon Jenkins might not entirely disagree, for example.
But as dangerous religion-driven idiots go, I couldn’t honestly say that I thought GWB was a real threat to liberal democracy, secularism, feminism, homosexuality and godlessness. There’ll be another (Democrat, I hope), President of the USA in a couple of years, but there will still remain, in the Middle East, unelected opponents of liberal democracy, secularism, feminism, homosexuality and godlessness. And social democrats and feminists, and indeed the broad left, will still, I hope, owe their brothers and sisters – and comrades – in the region more than just silence and Bush hatred.