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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Have you noticed? « Previous | |Next »
February 21, 2003

There is a lot of hot air around the war on Iraq. Most of the pro-war crowd are saying that they are fighting the good fight in attacking Iraq. And some are developing the 'good' bit by advancing humanitarian reasons of liberating an oppressed people from a totalitarian regime. And the left are saying that they are fighting the good fight by trying to block the 'war now' course of action.

If you stand back a bit from the fray and let the words that are being used as weapons fly over your head, then you notice something else going on. The neo-con hawks 'for war' position focuses on the future danger that Iraq will obtain nuclear weapons. The Hawks worry that Hussein will use WMDs or give them to terrorists in the future, to be used against the west on their home soil. Hence the pre-emptive strike.

Then a switch is pulled and a lot of the neo-criticisms of the left and the protest marchers are really more a part of a war on the left than any war on terror. It is the culture wars under another name that are being fought here. Even old time social liberals are getting in the act. The left, in the words of Paul Kelly are on a Craven trudge to a moral morass. The protesting left, says Kelly, are blind to the moral consequences of their position of non-intervention and denying the legitimacy of US-led military pre-emption to liberate Iraq. The moral consequences are the consignment of the Iraqi people to a gulag of deprivation, decline and imprisonment.

Did I miss something in the din of the battle? I cannot remember hearing Howard talk about liberating Iraq when he graced Washington with his presence. All I remember is the PM talking the language of national security and national interest.

And then we get this from Kelly:

"Who do the peace-marchers represent? They represent only themselves. One serious mistake some of them make including some of the Christian churches is to claim to speak for the Iraqi people. Such claims have no foundation and are quite dishonest."

I seem to recall that public opinion which had formed was based on the argument that Australia should work through the UN rather than outside it. This argument is made from the within the tradition of H. V. Evatt, Australia's UN diplomat. We should support the UN whilst being a critic of the UN, the Security Council, the power of the founding big five nations within it and the use of veto power. On Evatt's reading of history the cataclysm of World War It meant that on such matters as military intervention in the affairs of a nation state the great powers needed to act as one. Hence the importance of veto power. France is quite right to use thsi power to slow things down.

It is clear that many are more interested in discrediting/destroying the left than in prosecuting a war on terror. They reckon that this rhetorical battle needs to be won in order to facilitate the war on terror.

Have you noticed the change in tactics? Tim Dunlop has in his Starting to crack post on John Howard saying that lefty protesting citizens are giving comfort to the enemy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:06 AM | | Comments (1)


Kelly - 'One serious mistake some of them make including some of the Christian churches is to claim to speak for the Iraqi people. Such claims have no foundation and are quite dishonest."'

If such claims from the antiwar side are quite dishonest, why aren't the analogous claims you've drawn attention to from the prowar side? I mean on the one hand they declare hand on heart that they stand for the wishes of the Iraqi people to be freed by America, and on the other claim that dove assumptions of speaking for Iraqis are balls. Do they have a sort of batphone to ordinary Iraqis denied us on the peacenik team? In any case, the primary intent was more to speak TO the Iraqi people than for them. To say 'we don't want this to happen to you on our behalf and are trying to stop it.'

Always thought Kelly overrated. True colours time and he's a good Merde-och man, not as craven as Terry McCann perhaps but no different to the 175 News editors who just happen to agree with their boss on the war.

Solidarity forever comrades!