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Monday, August 13, 2007

The War Lobby's Best Friends

There's little doubt that the debate we've been having over the Iraqi interpreters issue has made a whole lot of things much clearer.

For a start, it's exposed the phoney liberalism of those who consider themselves crusaders for human rights, like the blogger Conor Foley, who, on a notoriously pro-war website, put forward the view that I, and by implication the paper which publishes me (and incidentally Conor too), could be charged with incitement to commit war crimes. Conor has not, it must be said, called for journalists who call for illegal, pre-emptive nuclear strikes on Iran to be prosecuted, or for the prosecution of journalists who called for Iraq to be attacked (on the contrary, he takes me to task for asking them to apologise). No, the only journalist he believes the Attorney General should be taking note of is one who opposed the aggresson against Yugoslavia and Iraq, and who opposes too military action against Iran. Please bear than in mind next time you read an article by Mr Foley.

The debate has highlighted the muddled thinking of many who call themselves 'anti-war'.

The previously unheard-of blogger Dan Hardie, who clearly sees his Iraqi intepreters campaign as a great opportunity to grab a little limelight, and to further his journalistic career,(who can blame the young chap), claims to be 'anti-war', yet he approached two notoriously pro-war sites, Stephen Pollard and Harry's Place, asking them to endorse his campaign. Call me picky, but anyone who writes to Stephen 'I am Warmonger' Pollard, man who in 2003 labelled opponents of the war "mindless, deluded or malevolent" and Harry's Place asking them for support on an issue connected with Iraq cannot expect to be considered 'anti-war': by taking such action Dan's campaign is irreparably tarnished.
(Dan incidentally has the name of that passionate anti-war campaigner and opponent on neo-con aggression 'Oliver Kamm' on his blogroll: links to anti-war blogs/websites such as John Pilger, ZNet,, Stop the War and The Cat's Dream are however, conspicuous by their absence)

Then there is the extraordinary logic, or rather lack of logic, that has been expressed by many claiming to be 'anti-war'. There are many examples in the comments on my posts on the interpreters, but this one from Dinah Hogg really is a classic.

"I was opposed to the war from the outset. I cannot agree that this means that one should not support the "success" of the coalition".

Ms Hogg's interpretation of being 'anti-war' means supporting the "success of the coalition". And what's clear, is that in their hysterical reaction to the idea that Iraqis have a right to resist the occupation of their country, quite a few people who consider themselves 'anti-war'share her way her thinking.

As I've said many times before, had the "coalition" achieved "success" in Iraq, then the cities of Iran and Syria would now be under rubble. Is that what Ms Hogg really wants? A quick victory for the US/UK in Iraq would only have meant more death and destruction: more invasions, more illegal acts of aggression. So all of us who abhor war and illegal attacks on sovereign states do indeed owe a great debt to those Iraqis who did resist the illegal invasion: they have done the world an enormous favour by derailing the neo-con war juggernaut. If every Iraqi behaved as the much-lauded interpreters did, and collaborated with the enemy for money, then the juggernaut would still be on the road.

I urgently implore all those who consider themselves 'anti-war' but who share the opinions expressed by Ms Hogg, to think again.

One thing is for sure: with 'enemies' like Ms Hogg, Mr Hardie and Mr Foley, the war lobby is in no need of friends.


Ken said...

Yeas, it's all a bit rum, isn't it? This fellow Hardy and that Davies bloke, both howling like mad to save the harkis - and both antiwar...

Even stranger when you consider that it is still far from certain that the USA will not attack Iran. If an example is made of the Iraqi collaborators that could deter any putative collaborator in Iran.

That might just tell against an attack, if the USA knew that it could not reply on any local support.

Anonymous said...

Did your wife oppose the Soviet Occupations in Eastern Europe?

Anonymous said...

Neil, the problem is that what you term a 'resistance' many others term 'terrorism' because the targets are all too often not military in nature. Your 'resistance' detonates tanks of chlorine in crowded markets, demolishes ancient mosques to stir up civil war and fires random bursts of mortars simlpy to kill, main and spread fear. This is not covered anywhere in the Geneva convention and is unacceptable to any decent person.

Many people who opposed the folly of starting this imbecilic war are now hoping for a coalition triumph in some form so as to stop the emerging civil war that will devastate the middle east when the coalition quits. Would you rather see a stable Iraq sponsored by the coalition and UN or have Iraq descend into madness as the groups targeting foreign troops over each other have noone to turn on but themselves?

Ken said...

Ok, so they fight the Americans on Monday and each other on Tuesday, is that what you are saying?

Isn't it more likely that the anti-occupation forces fight the Americans, and then other groups are involved in the incipient civil war?

Anyway, it is the height of webmongery to claim that having started this, the occupiers can end it by sticking around. No group that has any links to the occupation can really claim any legitimacy, so the mere act of sticking around ensures that the real hard-liners will take over when the final retreat comes.