The war, the left and moral equivalence (II)

September 5, 2006

As some may already know, I’m a failed or lapsed lefty. But you can never completely disgorge mothers’ milk. Sometimes, when the moon is blue, the wind is from the south, and I’m wearing a ginger wig and yellow stockings in a hailstorm somewhere in Mongolia, I can even imagine I still am a lefty — and it happens more often than you might think. I worry about the left: where it’s been, where it is and where it’s going.

A while back, in a typically hyperbolic moment, I wrote this in an article for Quadrant:

Even more discomfiting will be the need to reflect on the extent to which murderous and, indeed, plainly insane regimes—such as that which still rules in North Korea—were buttressed in their dystopian fantasies by the knowledge that the intellectuals of the West supported them.

We’re all familiar with the concept of the fifth column — those “at home” who, in times of war, actively seek to undermine the morale of the fighting forces and the home front through the deployment of sly, and not so sly, propaganda favouring the enemy. But what are we to make of leftists who are embraced as active adherents of their cause by those against whom we are fighting, and whose pronouncements are used as propaganda against us?

Leftist pin-up Michael Moore’s anti-Bush polemic, Fahrenheit 9/11, valorised the insurgents in Iraq as the modern equivalents of the Minutemen, and unabashedly supported them, despite the fact they were killing the soldiers of his country. Now his film has been adopted by the insurgents themselves as specific propaganda in their cause — a cause that involves the use of IEDs, suicide bombings and the general instruments of mayhem to kill Coalition troops and murder Iraqi civilians at random to derail the hard, hard yards put in to stabilise Iraq to the point that foreign troops might withdraw.

And more recently, in just the last few days, an Al Qa’ida video has lauded George Galloway and Robert Fisk — two more of the contemporary left’s favoured sons — for their salutory efforts on behalf of terrorist Islam, whilst chiding them for not going the full distance and converting.

In fairness to the gentlemen concerned, it ought to be said that it was probably not their explicit intention that their writings and utterances should be used by terrorists and murderers to glorify the terrorisation and murder of their own compatriots, and sundry others. But one wonders what they and their enthusiastic cheer squads might make of it all.

I realise that something like this deserves a more serious post, but it reduces me to a bitter flippancy. (Bit o’ — get it?) Anyway, it’ll be a long while before I put on the ginger wig and yellow stockings and travel again to Mongolia, whatever the wind or weather.

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