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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wally of the Week: Bruce Anderson

Didn't think the man who said that it was "important that a horse should be killed most years and a jockey every ten years or so" in the Grand National, could write anything more stupid?

Then think again.

In his column in The Independent, Anderson says of the neocons:

It was natural that they should think in terms of universalising American values. That was not imperialism. It was generosity.

What next from Bruce, I wonder? An article on how Hitler's bombardment of Britain was motivated by a kindly desire for us Brits to enjoy the protection of Nazi smoking bans?

I wouldn't put anything past this complete and utter wally.


jock mctrousers said...

That's quite bland for him. The first time he registered on my consciousness was I saw him on some late night chat show where they were discussing mass killings and disappearances in South and Central America; Anderson justified this with " but they were Marxists". I've never seen such unanimous disgust as the looks on the faces of the other participants, who were by no means 'revolutionary' socialists.

Private Eye had a little piece a couple of years back on Anderson, drunk at a media party, loudly calling for free trade in negroes, and proclaiming that New Labour are just fine apart from their obsession with the three W's: wimmin, wogs and woofters. I mean, really...
In short, why buy the Independent? You can read Patrick Cockburn on Counterpunch; Robert Fisk hasn't written anything substantial for years; the rest of them are fascists pretending to be liberals, like that Alibi-Brown woman who's their brown alibi - token non-white. Why give Anderson a living?

olching said...

Bruce 'The Brute' Anderson is one of the more bizarre phenomena in the British media.

Jock, you got there first; I was going to mention the Private Eye story; it was a true gem.

KNaylor said...

Having read what this dolt has written, one wonders why on earth a paper like the Independent continues to pay for such squint eyed drivel.

Nearly every single line in Anderason's piece drips with bad history, illogicality and

'Iraq shows evidence of steady improvement'.

Well, it could hardly have got worse. No mention of one million plus lives lost then.

'Although that could have happened sooner if the nation-building process had been properly addressed instead of being grotesquely mishandled, those of us who supported the invasion have no reason to repent.

Well, it wasn't handled correctly and given the scale of the risk and the fact an invasion would lead to the fragmentation of the Iraqi state, it was incumbent on apologists for US power to explain what the nation building process would consist of.

They did not. So that means they do not have to 'repent'. Just admit they made an atrocious mistake and to accept responsibility.

After all, it's those like Anderson who always bang on about taking individual responsibility-until it applies to them. Then they just try to use weasel words and exculpatory self-justification.

One technique is the titred Blairaite line that its time to 'move on'. For those who can like Anderson. Those in Iraq killed by an idiotic and futile war cannot.

Because they are dead.

'But we may have to concede that Iraq was a sideshow'.

To which it's difficult not to to reply' You utter bastard'.

How the death of a million people can be described as a sideshow shows that Anderson regards those dead as nothing more than 'collateral damage' that will all be justified in the end by the unravelling of the logic of final victory over totalitarianism in the Middle East.

The 'cruel irony' he ignores is how similar he sounds to those travellers who justified Soviet Communism. The victims were History's. They died so that future generations might live in a better world.

'Iran could prove to be more dangerous; Pakistan, more dangerous still. Then there is Egypt, whose economy is as chaotic as the Delhi traffic, but without the underlying equilibrium'.

Iraq was 'dangerous'.

'At the end of the Nineties, the neo-conservatives had an Enlightenment project: to bring peace, prosperity and freedom to the Middle East. Apart from a certain hypocrisy over Palestine, it was a noble vision'

That's true. Yet it's no use invoking a 'noble vision' if the reality that belies it is really a form of hubristic 'Enlightened self interest' and part of the USA's quest for energy security.

Anderson would be the first to denigrate the revolutionary Marxists who had a noble vision. When the USA apes the Utopian End Time millenarianism of the Bolsheviks its just fine.

'The world would have been a much better and safer place if the neo-cons' plans had come to fruition'.

But they didn't and anybody who knew anything about Iraq knew it had little chance of success from the outset and was instigated by ideological fanatics.

'But there is a problem with enlightenment projects to tear up the existing order and reconstruct mankind on abstract principles. They always fail'

Unless, of course, its the USA.

'There would appear to be one exception: the United States itself. This had a great influence on the neo-cons, many of whose families came to America to seek asylum'.

That's the neocons that Anderson supported.

'It was natural that they should think in terms of universalising American values. That was not imperialism. It was generosity'.

No, it was fanaticism

'But the success of the American revolution is atypical'.

The events of 1776 have little specific bearing on the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The American Revolution itself is not some prototype revolution that can be exported to all nations.
That was a neocon conceit that either Anderson shares or that he does not.

'Although it may have seemed to bring an enlightenment project into being, it was a much more conservative affair than its European equivalents. It rested on sound bourgeois and squirearchical foundations'.

Well, it was not a Jacobin type revolution as in France no. Yet presumably even Anderson knows that revolutions are far more complex that being 'bourgeois' or part of some 'Enlightenment project' in the singular.

'The real Enlightenment project came with President Lincoln's Civil War. That cost half a million dead, and the South took a century to recover'.

Only a complete fucking idiot with no sense of history could compare the US Civil War with Iraq or that the history of the world progresses inexorably with the rise of US global power.

Neil Clark said...

thanks for that info, Jock.
olcihng: hope all's well.
karl: great to hear from you again. hope all's well. great post.