dimanche 27 juillet 2008

I thought I said stupid things

But Nick Cohen's collection of sentences (it's difficult to call it an 'essay') in today's Absurder........"It doesn't know it, but the liberal-left in Europe and North America has been lucky to have Bush." has to be one of the most dumb things I've read in a long time.

His 'argument' - essentially is that the left (or Cohen's idée fixée of what constitutes the left - an outdated picture of a bearded, lentil eating Islamophile or radical CND-ing feminists it seems) has been able to hide behind Bush the "great Satan" and "they have hidden the totalitarian threats of our age from themselves and anyone who listens to them. Bush allowed them to explain away radical Islam as an understandable, even legitimate, response to the hypocrisies and iniquities of American policy." As if the US wasn't ever totalitarian! As if no one protested against US foreign policy before the CIA created jihadidtd kicked off their failed revengefest. All standard Cohen guff.

He drivels on, "In January, Bush will be history, leaving liberals all alone in a frightening world. Little else will change. Radical Islam will still authorise murder without limit, Iran will still want the bomb and the autocracies of China and Russia will still be growing in wealth and confidence. All those who argued that the 'root cause' of the Bush administration lay behind the terror will find that the terror still flourishes when the root cause has retired."

Well yes, "little else will change" - the pretentions of the American ruling elite will remain exactly the same - but who exactly (leaving aside the big bad wolves scare tactic midway through that paragraph) ever believed that "Bush lay behind the terror"? No one, other than the characatures Cohen conjures up to monger his tired old Left-Islam-Terror matrix. True, Bush has been behind a fair bit of terror - lest we forget the Iraq and Afghan carnage but I doubt this is what Nick meant.

The next para is unhinged scare tactics that sounds like a boy crying wolf in Birmingham, or Glasgow or somewhere.

"In their book, After Bush, professors Timothy J Lynch and Robert S Singh highlight the obvious truth that the West is in a new Cold War. Whatever his disagreements with Bush on detail, the new President will have to stop radical Islamist movements and regimes gaining nuclear, chemical or biological weapons because he will know, as we already know, when we are honest with ourselves, that they will use them."

Well it's not really a cold war if your in Iraq. A real cold war though? Thousands of battallions facing eachother grimly preparing to fight to the death? Tank columns moving into position?Two giant empires poised to obliterate humanity in a blaze of mushroom clouds? A slight exaggeration, possibly? And the standard line about Iran getting the bomb etc. comes with the usual 'No evidence' warning.

His conclusion is neat in a twisted kind of way. Liberals love Obama, Obama is going to have to do the same things as Bush therefore the liberals will have to support the war on terror and Nick is vindicated!

It really is an argument dreamt up in the midst of a big-plant smoking session. There are plenty of people without illusions about Obama. I never thought self-delusion was philosophically possible (how can a self deceive itself? How can a self lend money to itself etc?) but Cohen has proved me wrong on this point. He has deceived himself totally. I am truly confounded.

There are thousands of better written blogs out there than this rotten fare - no wonder the Nick is looking sick in his by-line photo. His time is surely, surely up.