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, anti-war.com, 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.