Monday, March 26, 2007

Appropriate comparisons: a guide to the etiquette of decency (part xxxx)

It is not OK for Geoffrey Wheatcroft to describe a Tory MP's concern with how the Americans see the British as reflecting the spirit of Vichy.

It is OK, indeed wholly justified, for Kanan Makiya to say that demands that Hilary Clinton apologize for her vote on Iraq are "so Maoist".

(Norman Geras, in blog posts less than six hours apart.)


Blogger Dr Zen said...

Poor Makiya, struggling with his new book. A lot harder than the streams of bullshit he indulged in before the war, because now there's no one to bomb who isn't already being bombed, and of course he doesn't have any answers to the problems of Iraq.*

This though is simply disgusting:

“Now it seems necessary to reflect on the society that has gotten itself into this mess. A question that looms more and more for me is: just what did 30 years of dictatorship do to 25 million people?”

You what? Is he missing something? Oh yes. An American invasion, the destruction of infrastructure, the disemployment of many men, the massive corruption, America foolishly backing one side on ethnic grounds and creating a sectarianism that hadn't truly existed in much of Iraq before.

*I know, I'm too harsh. Makiya does have a plan: pedestrianise the centre of Baghdad. Well, it's not much worse than "destroy everything and a democracy will spring fully formed from the rubble", I suppose.

3/26/2007 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger the management said...

Makiya has also apparently "split" with his old mate Ahmed Chalabi. Support for Iraqi democrats, how are ya.

3/26/2007 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Many of the Decents strike me as people who would have made very good Maoists. (Indeed, probably some of them did, ho ho.) A liking for hounding their opponents, a desire to find disloyalty and hidden motives everywhere, an ability to keep on supporting a policy for reasons that change every few months. They're denouncers: it's their style.

now there's no one to bomb who isn't already being bombed

I imagine they will think of somebody.

3/26/2007 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Incidentally, does Norman have a position on people being asked to "condemn"?

("Do you condemn suicide bombings/Hamas/President Ahmadinejad/violence/anti-Semtitism/George Galloway/The Very Hungry Caterpillar")

3/26/2007 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seems to be an underlying assumption that unites the neo-cons, the Decents and Maoists: namely that a bit of violence will result in a new situation where things will be better. It seems to have eluded all of them that violence tends to destroy some of the basic institutions of society that take a long time and a lot of effort to rebuild.

3/26/2007 03:24:00 PM  

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