imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Read and learn more...

by Mark Saturday, Feb. 22, 2003 at 8:34 PM

Read and learn...

My Left Euro Friends Are Wrong

By Phil Craig | February 20, 2003

We were there for peace. We were there to confront the American cowboy warmonger. We were there to watch Emma Thompson on a lorry.

Actually, of the day I marched against cruise and Pershing missiles what I remember best is the bemused look on the faces of a group of NUM men as Emma performed her mobile political cabaret.

Anyone remember cruise and Pershing? Or Greenham Common? How about Frankie Goes to Hollywood? You only catch them on archive shows now, but back in the early 1980s stopping Nato deploying those America missiles was the great anti-war cause. It was what you did if you were young, decent and liberal.

And how we decent young people hated Reagan. We all had that poster of him as Rhett Butler with Thatcher as Scarlett O’Hara: ‘She promised to follow him to the ends of the earth. He promised to organise it.’

No, he wasn’t funny; he was dangerous. He wanted to tear up détente, he wanted to confront what he naively called ‘the Evil Empire’. For Christ’s sake, he even went to Berlin and shouted, ‘Tear Down that Wall!’ Now, please understand, we’d all read Animal Farm and none of us was that keen on the Soviets, but at least they’d given their people decent healthcare, hadn’t they, and a fantastic underground system? Oh, and jobs for life, unlike the evil Thatcher. And what was the point of provoking them?

Like a lot of Oxbridge lefties I ended up in the BBC current affairs department. Eight years after carrying my CND banner through Hyde Park I found myself in Eastern Europe. Amazingly, the Wall had, indeed, been torn down. My assistant producer had family in the old East Germany and he wasn’t too pleased to hear of my peacenik past. Did I have any idea how much people like him had hated people like me? Did I know how crushingly miserable life had been in Eastern Europe, that the image of healthcare and jobs for life was strictly for the consumption of visiting Guardian reporters, and that the reality was grey, oppressive and corrupt? And, most of all, did I not know how much it had meant when Reagan challenged the Soviet overlord, matching their SS-20s with his own missiles, inviting them into a spending race that they could not win?

And that’s why I won’t be marching in Hyde Park this time around. Because America, even with a cowboy in charge, isn’t always wrong.

Two paragraphs, both true:

1) The United States has bankrolled and armed vicious regimes, refused to pressure Israel into making substantial territorial concessions in the West Bank, and has wilfully undermined international efforts to secure fair trade and environmental protections — Bad America, very bad.

2) For three generations the people of Europe have benefited hugely from the military and economic power of the United States. That power disposed of first the Nazis and then the Soviets. In the last decade it has chased a fascist dictator out of the Balkans and a reactionary death cult from its laboratories in Afghanistan — Good America, yes, very good America indeed, especially when you consider what the multilateral, United Nations, decent and liberal approach to world problems has given us in recent years: Rwanda, Srebrenica and a 12-year game of hide-and-seek in Iraq.

I like to imagine this weekend’s protesters sitting in a café in Jerusalem, Baghdad or Damascus one day, in a revitalised, democratised and peaceful Middle East, and realising that the turning point was the removal of Saddam. Optimistic? Naive? I suppose so. But some good will come out of regime-change in Iraq. Reformers in Tehran will be inspired, Hamas will lose its major paymaster, and the Saudi oligarchs will think twice before they fund any more jihad-preaching madrasas.

I’d say that the optimists have as good a chance of being right as the Pilgers and the Pinters, whose relentlessly negative predictions about recent Western military actions have been equally relentlessly wrong.

Madeleine Bunting — another decent liberal type — is a columnist for the Guardian. A few days into the bombing of the Taleban, she described Afghanistan as America’s new Vietnam. Last week she attempted to discount any cheering crowds that we might see on the streets of Iraq as ‘a few days’ jubilation staged for the TV cameras’. Well, Afghanistan wasn’t Vietnam, nor will it ever be, and CNN will not need to stage-manage any of the upcoming jubilations in Baghdad. Why would a liberal want to dismiss the liberation of the Iraqi people? Because, for the moment, anti-Americanism trumps all her other instincts.

From my experience (and believe me, I know, I have to work with these people), mainstream left-liberal opinion remains resolutely opposed to the war, however many nasties Hans and his team can dig up in Saddam’s back garden. It’s also very much inclined to believe anyone but Bush or Powell when it comes to evidence about the nasties. ‘Still not proven clear risk’ is the consensus, even after Colin Powell’s tape recordings, and even after Jane Corbin’s excellent Panorama showed just how the inspectors get the run-around. Corbin also introduced the British public to the truly scary ‘Dr Germ’ — whose husband, it turns out, is in charge of Iraqi liaison with the UN inspectors. Who said Saddam didn’t have a sense of humour?

I’ve made enough current affairs programmes to understand — and to share — much of the case against America. But my feelings about the war on terror have been different from the start.

I was in Florida researching a book on the second world war on 11 September 2001. In the week after the attack the airlines were down, so I drove across rural Florida and Georgia, watching the flags come out and the patriotic messages go up on the billboards. People were calling the radio shows. One question dominated, the same one I heard in bars, shops and around dinner tables: ‘Why do they hate us so much?’ ‘It’s just a minority,’ I said.

I returned home and realised that it wasn’t a minority at all. To my astonishment, it included many of my liberal and left-wing friends, and writers and thinkers I admired. In that first week a cartoon in the Guardian painted President Bush as an ape dumbly trying to impersonate Winston Churchill, while the Independent offered a blind, deranged Bush firing his cowboy six-shooter and treading on a dead Arab. And all this before a single American bomb had been dropped on Afghanistan, and with 3,000 bodies — we still thought 10,000 then — warm beneath the rubble.

I called up a friend in the television business. We both said we were fearful. I was talking about Islamic terrorism, perhaps next time with a nuke, but it turned out he meant ‘the mad cowboy in the White House’. It struck me then that, after so many years of opposing American foreign policy, the Left could not see beyond Vietnam-era slogans. It could not recognise that a toxic stew of rogue regimes, apocalyptic weapons programmes and a perverted form of Islam posed a deadly threat. It posed a particularly deadly threat, come to think of it, to the values of the Left itself: to women’s rights and gay rights; to secularism, pluralism and multiculturalism. In fact, you name the liberal ‘ism’ and Osama was against it. But one ‘ism’ still trumped all: anti-Americanism.

The coming endgame with Saddam will — at the very least — rid the world of a proven danger, and lessen the chances that the next terrorist attack will take out millions not thousands. If war comes, will innocent Iraqis die? Certainly. More than the Americans will admit, fewer than the peaceniks will claim. But innocents have been dying for decades under this revolting regime.

We’re told that war will drive Muslims into the arms of al-Qa’eda. But remember what bin Laden said in the days after 9/11: ‘America is weak, it cannot take casualties, it ran away in Somalia.’ Throughout the 1990s the West responded tamely to attacks by bin Laden (the African embassy bombs, the USS Cole), to attacks by groups linked to Saddam (the Saudi barracks bomb, the assassination attempt on Bush’s father, the first World Trade Center attack), and to the continued refusal of Iraq to disarm as required by the Gulf war ceasefire. Ten years of this weakness only encouraged our enemies to be bolder.

Matthew Parris is a peacenik I respect. He cuts through the normal anti-war drivel — that it’s all about ‘Oil, God, Dad’ — and accepts that the core justification for disarming Iraq is fear of a bigger version of 9/11. He’s opposed to war because he doesn’t want to live in a world solely policed by the USA. Fair enough, that’s a real worry. But I’ll take it over the insecurity of living in an unpoliced world, or trusting my future to the men in blue helmets.

Good, decent people are painting their ‘No War’ signs; friends are talking excitedly about how they are going to get to the great demo (it’s going to be a ‘Woodstock moment’, apparently); even Nelson Mandela, the conscience of the bloody world, tells me I’m backing a bunch of racist oil-imperialists. The only thing to cheer me up was the ‘New Europe’ letter. Nelson may be against me, but at least Vaclav Havel understands. Which brings me back to Hyde Park in 1983.

Eastern Europeans know that when they suffered oppression it was America which tried to help them, and the Western Left who marched in tacit support of their oppressors. The politburo, as we later discovered, never believed that Nato would respond to the deployment of its SS-20s. It thought that the protests of Phil Craig and Emma Thompson and lots of other decent liberal people would make it impossible. It was wrong, and when faced with Western resolve it slowly realised that the game was up.

I still hope that Saddam will do the same and join Idi Amin for an ill-deserved retirement in Saudi Arabia. But I fear that all this marching will make him think that he still has a chance. And that could be more dangerous than any cowboy in the White House.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy