is rather odd to see that the Guardian/Observer
has a set of virtually identical writers (Aaronovitch,
J. Freedland, and now Mr. Cohen) who conjure similar
arguments. All of them have criticized the left
by setting up straw men and then charging them quixotically.
remarks deserve rebuttal due to their nefarious
Cohens first paragraph: When Saddam is
sent to rendezvous with a judge in The Hague
the democratic opposition in Iraq will need help.
It has many enemies: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the CIA
and the Foreign Office want to replace the old tyrant
with a new, compliant dictator - a Saddam without
a moustache. As the moment of decision arrives, Iraqi
democrats and socialists have discovered that their
natural allies in the European Left don't want to
know them. They must add the shameless Stop the War
Coalition to the enemies list. Hopefully this
fresh pile of fecal matter will stop you from reading
the rest of this article. However, if you pursue your
masochistic tendencies, or read it because it appeared
in a reputable webzine, e.g., the Blanket,
then some discussion is necessary.
there are many Iraqi democrats and not
all of them are of a wholesome nature. So, if one
of them says that hes been shunted by the left,
it means that there may be a good reason. Furthermore,
a political movement seeks to act on aspects it can
influence, e.g., British participation in the obscene
war, thus a simple NO message is the most effective.
How things turn out on the ground thereafter, well
that is indeed the Iraqis responsibility. So,
whether or not the Stop the War Coalition has actively
sought to include the Iraqi democrats
is of secondary importance.
Stop the War Coalition is just that, a grouping of
all colors projecting an anti-war message. This is
a simple message that will gain wide following as
evinced by the demonstrations on the 15th. Yes, there
were Moslems marching too, and they were welcomed
because they had the same political message.
Cohen states: What (
) about the strange
insistence of the anti-war movement that Iraqis must
not be liberated until Israel withdraws from the occupied
territories? Could he conceivably explain where
this nonsense came from? This message was not uttered
by any of the speakers at the London demo - so it
is utter nonsense.
Cohens portrayal of Harold Pinters stance
on Iraqi/Kurdish rights is preposterous. Pinter has
been at the forefront of the defense of Kurdish human
rights for ages. Where does Mr. Cohen manage to find
Cohen throws in a swipe at Edward Said by stating
But he too has fled into denial- this
because he doesnt have flattering things to
say about one of Cohens Iraqi darlings.
final swipe at the so-called Left is truly remarkable.
The Iraqis must now accept that they will have
to fight for democracy without the support of the
British Left. Disgraceful though our failure to hear
them has been, I can't help thinking that they'll
be better off without us. What hogwash!
demonstrations on the 15th had to do with a general
disgust with the long torture of the Iraqi people
by the US/UK and a principled opposition against another
horrendous massacre that is in the offing - period.
Mr.Cohens disingenuous remarks have more to
do with tarnishing this movement than with providing
a legitimate criticism.
looking at the co-optation of the anti-war movement
in California reveals Mr. Cohens real reason
for his invective. In California, the anti-war demonstrations
were co-opted by a group that did everything to stunt
any criticism of Israel or references to the plight
of the Palestinians. As such, the demonstrations were
deemed a success by their organizers,
i.e., no criticism of Israel was voiced, and the organizers
ordered posters with such messages to be taken down.
Is it the case that the Zionist-trio at the Guardian/Observer
have launched their invective against the peace
movement for this reason? The fact that the
London march did not attempt to stamp out statements
about the Palestinians or criticism of Israel is perhaps
the main reason that sparked the ire of the likes
of Aaronovitch or Mr. Cohen. One would have thought
that the editors of the Blanket would recognize such
destructive statements before adding them to their
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