imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

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


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org 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

www.indymedia.org 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

Why the Left will never put its hands up

by Janet Daley Friday, Apr. 11, 2003 at 8:28 AM

Being a leftist means you never have to say you're sorry.

So, something of a cakewalk after all, then. No major set piece battles with the "elite" Republican Guard. No massive numbers of civilian casualties - "millions of women and children killed", as Shirley Williams, among many others, predicted. No relentless house-to-house street fighting. No insuperable problem with the desert heat - the Iraqi summer seems to have gone the way of the Afghan winter in that earlier impracticable American war effort. No uncontrollably burning oil fields in southern Iraq, leading to intractable environmental catastrophe.

Nor has there been a great humanitarian disaster or a flood of refugees across the Iraqi borders. One aid worker in Basra was asked by a reporter how difficult it would be to get the city back up and running. He said it should not be hard at all because, as he put it: "We haven't had any real war here." It was just a matter of revving up the generators to get the power and water back to normal. The population has gone in for a bit of triumphalist looting of Saddam Hussein's local palace, but even that was petering out yesterday.

Baghdad may not escape so easily. The capital is being pounded, its civilians endangered and its infrastructure damaged more than the coalition would have preferred. That is because Saddam and his chief henchmen - if they are alive - are remaining true to the last to their wicked delusions. If Saddam is alive and hiding, with no sane hope of any sort of victory, then he is directly responsible for the devastation of his capital and the deaths of civilians whom he has evidently written off.

With characteristically desperate cowardice, he scurries from his tunnels to his underground bunker while his city is battered and his people terrified. Listening to Said al-Sahaf, the comically undaunted Iraqi information minister, can anyone be left in any doubt that this mad, bad and ultimately absurd despotism needed to be displaced?

A spokesman for the allied forces was asked the quintessential BBC question on Radio 4 the other day: "If you fail to find any weapons of mass destruction, will you apologise?" (To whom, one wonders? Saddam? The Iraqi people? The world?)

Given that Saddam was given such a generous amount of time by the UN Security Council to spirit any such weapons safely over the border to Syria, and that he would be very unlikely to have left them lying around where troops would stumble across them in the course of battle, "finding" them in the past three weeks would have been hugely unlikely.

But never mind that. What I want to know is when the perpetrators of the myths that I enumerated above can be expected to offer their apologies. Judging by Tam Dalyell's performance on the Today programme yesterday, not just yet.

He now seems to be amending the forecast of millions of children killed to millions of children traumatised: a sad enough notion, certainly, but a mite different from the one that was being bandied about by the more hysterical anti-war lobby a week or two ago.

I have this delightful fantasy of George Galloway, Shirley Williams, Chris Smith, Frank Dobson, most of the BBC newsroom, the entire Liberal Democrat Party and the Guardian comment page editorial staff putting their hands up en masse and saying: "Well, actually we got that a little bit wrong." And maybe even deciding that, since their analysis of the war was mistaken, their diagnosis of the peace might be open to question, too.

But I'm not holding my breath. Those for whom America is always wrong will not be slowed down by this momentary setback. Rather like Mr al-Sahaf, they will not even appear to notice the tanks in the streets of their ideological neighbourhood. They will look away from the welcoming crowds of Basra (yes, they really did cheer, once it was safe to do so) and just move smartly on to the next American "crime against humanity".

I am off to Washington at the end of the week, where a think tank has invited me to discuss European anti-American attitudes. What shall I say to them?

That the obvious truth - America is resented because of its enormous power - is only a fragment of the picture? That the foundation of anti-Americanism lies deep in the pathology of a Europe that has never recovered from its own guilt and self-loathing over the two great wars of the past century?

How to make Americans, most of whom are descended from the most despised and wretched of the populations of the Old World - poor southern Italians, landless Irish peasants, ghetto Jews of eastern Europe - understand that much apparently political resistance to them is grounded in pure snobbery? The great American virtues - self-improvement, ambition, individualism - are, in European establishment eyes, the characteristics of vulgarity.

The consumer-led culture of America, so embarrassingly coveted by the poor peoples of the world, is crass, sentimental and socially gauche. Of course it is. It is the only popular culture there has ever been that is cosmopolitan and affluent, as opposed to the folk cultures of Europe, which dwell in provincial poverty but have their own "integrity" in patronising bien-pensant terms.

I shall have to explain, too, that none of this is very consistently held. The demonised America of the imagination has little to do with the actual one that many of those same intellectuals know well from their book-plugging tours and their visiting professorships. The same people who ridicule American culture will tell you that The Sopranos is the best drama series on television and that Philip Roth is the greatest living novelist.

But how much reality can the ideologically committed be expected to digest? And when has self-contradiction and incoherence ever been a problem for the Left?

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 11 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
maybe you got the reasons wrong irpy Friday, Apr. 11, 2003 at 8:39 AM
Simple Simple Simon Friday, Apr. 11, 2003 at 9:28 AM
Hogwash Meyer London Friday, Apr. 11, 2003 at 10:02 AM
Meyer London rollthedice Friday, Apr. 11, 2003 at 10:08 AM
"complete liberation?" irpy Friday, Apr. 11, 2003 at 10:57 AM
Winner Meyer London Friday, Apr. 11, 2003 at 12:02 PM
Simple Simple Simon Saturday, Apr. 12, 2003 at 5:55 AM
Psympelton speaks... Diogenes Saturday, Apr. 12, 2003 at 6:04 AM
Simple Simple Simon Saturday, Apr. 12, 2003 at 7:00 AM
Hey Simon! Eric Saturday, Apr. 12, 2003 at 7:15 AM
Hey Simon! Eric Saturday, Apr. 12, 2003 at 7:21 AM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

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