March 27, 2003

The Left's infantile paralysis

Daniel Pipes makes good observations about the many failings of the left in considering Saddam.

The same goes for Saddam Hussein, whose gruesome qualities matter less to the Left than the fact of his confronting and defying the United States. In its view, anyone who does that can't be too bad — never mind that he brutalizes his subjects and invades his neighbors. The Left takes to the streets to assure his survival, indifferent both to the fate of Iraqis and even to their own safety, clutching instead at the hope that this monster will somehow bring socialism closer.

Much as I admire Pipe's argument, I feel that he has painted the Left as a single entity who believe in this way. The Straw Man argument. Luckily, not everyone is reading from the same playbook, viz Christopher Hitchens.

I count myself on the leftish side of things, despiser of most things Bush and the Republicans are in favor of.

But I was shocked not too long ago when an acquaintance, an otherwise reasonably intelligent guy, started to speak respectfully about Venezuela's resident thug Chavez. When I looked shocked, he backed way off with the weaselly "well, I know he's probably not a very good guy ..."

That's when I knew. For a certain loonitarian segment of the Left, it isn't about what is right, what is wrong, what is progressive, what is humanitarian. No, it's about who is standing up to the US, pure and simple. If someone stands up and proclaims his anti-American bona fides, it doesn't matter what kind of hood he is, he gets an automatic bust in the Pantheon of the Left.

It isn't socialism, as Pipes would have it, it's hate.

That's why the endless canonization of Fidel. He sure puts it to "the man", doesn't he? Bah. I used to know people who positively worshipped Enver Hoxha and Kim il Sung. Sad the state of anti-Americanism that we now have such heroes as Saddam, Osama, Chavez, Mugabe, Milosevic and Dear Leader.

But I guess the anti-Americans can have Chirac. The man last spring was voted for "avec les gants" (with rubber gloves) by the French Left. But he stands up to the Unilateral Hegemon (I like that, sounds like a villain in a comic), so "what a guy!"

We would have Schroeder — a man of the left — but he has about zero chance of surviving much longer.

Until the left gets past this infantile Manicheanism that everything US is evil and everything that opposes the US is good, they are doomed to the inconsequentiality that befell the Marxist movements.

Posted by campbell at March 27, 2003 12:50 AM | TrackBack