Thursday, January 29, 2004

Liberal Hawk Thumping

Paul Berman, one of the chorus of Marxists who has bravely defended the war in Iraq (the Hitch and Norm Geras being the othersI have followed), came out thumping today. Literally. He writes in Dissent Magazine about a conversation he had with another friend of the left which soon became a heated argument. Berman became so enraged that his six reasons of why much of the left is wrong on Iraq, the US and Israel were each introduced by the "Thump" caused by his fist hitting the table! If you don't start thumping when you read this wonderful rant, then its time for a little black coffee to get that precious motor running. Anyway, enjoy. This blurb from the article was highlighted by Andrew Sullivan (who was particularly good today) and does indeed deserve special notice (note: Berman hates Bush, but that does not stop him from getting to the right place):
My friend said, "I'm for the UN and international law, and I think you've become a traitor to the left. A neocon!"
I said, "I'm for overthrowing tyrants, and since when did overthrowing fascism become treason to the left?"
"But isn't George Bush himself a fascist, more or less? I mean-admit it!"

My own eyes widened. "You haven't the foggiest idea what fascism is," I said. "I always figured that a keen awareness of extreme oppression was the deepest trait of a left-wing heart. Mass graves, three hundred thousand missing Iraqis, a population crushed by thirty-five years of Baathist boots stomping on their faces-that is what fascism means! And you think that a few corrupt insider contracts with Bush's cronies at Halliburton and a bit of retrograde Bible-thumping and Bush's ridiculous tax cuts and his bonanzas for the super-rich are indistinguishable from that?-indistinguishable from fascism? From a politics of slaughter? Leftism is supposed to be a reality principle. Leftism is supposed to embody an ability to take in the big picture. The traitor to the left is you, my friend . . ."

But this made not the slightest sense to him, and there was nothing left to do but to hit each other over the head with our respective drinks.

Read it. And if you haven't bought Terror and Liberalism, please, please, please do yourself and this country a favor and read it too!


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