Youâve lost it, Guardianistas
Sunday Times Link
Sunday Times Link
Martin Ivens meets Nick Cohen
Nick Cohen, a journalist with impeccable left-wing credentials, has written a book about the latest moral disorder afflicting his brothers and sisters in the struggle. Fashionable anti-Americanism and hatred of the Bush administration and Tony Blair has so warped opponents of the war in Iraq, he argues, that they want the Islamic terrorists to win.
In Whatâs Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way, Cohen asks, âWhy do leftist papers publish defences of suicide bombers?â and answers that the failure of socialism has freed them to go along with any movement, however far right it may be, âas long as it is against the status quo and Americaâ.
The triumph of liberal-left social agenda in the West, and Britain in particular (human rights, gay rights, womenâs emancipation, etc) left a gaping black hole to be filled. But these causes are, apparently, not for export. âThey could all be for the emancipation of women in London, Paris and New York while indifferent to the misogynies of the Middle East, Africa and Asia,â he writes. Supporting these values in the Second or Third World is moral imperialism, donât you know.
Whatâs Left? has created havoc among the Guardian-reading classes. It asserts a commonality of interest between the hard left and soft liberals who lazily take up the arguments of their malevolent brethren. For those not of the faith, it offers a defence of the alliance of the liberal interventionist left with American, and British military power in the Balkans, Sierra Leone and now, fatefully Iraq. Neo- liberals as well as neocons thought they had found the philosopherâs stone of foreign policy, an idealism grounded in realism. For a decade they swept all before them until Abu Ghraib and Baghdad, city of dreadful night, brought them up short.