It’s brave of Nick Cohen and Norm Geras to try and come to an understanding of the common ground that unites us all with the equally pro-war types at Front Page Magazine. Brave like the Charge of the Light Brigade. It almost makes you feel sorry for the boys.
The piece also contains one of those bits of American Right Bizarre Association that makes you double-take:
The Left has a long, depressing, ugly and blood-stained record of worshipping the most vile and barbaric tyrannies of the 20th century, including Stalinâ€™s Soviet Union, Maoâ€™s China, Ho Chi Minhâ€™s Vietnam and Castroâ€™s Cuba.
Nobody could dispute Stalin, Mao or Minh as Utter Cunts Of The 20th Century. But what the fuck is Fidel doing on the list? At worst, he’s slightly less bad than most of the tin-pot dictators who’ve cheated, murdered and bullied their way to power in Latin America over the last 100 years – the only difference is that all the other bastards are entirely discredited and hated, while Castro is still popular-ish among his own people, for all his undeniable faults.
Yeah, I know the actual reason: Casto set Cuba’s mentally ill and sexually deviant population adrift on boats to Miami in the early 1980s, ensuring that Florida is now full of crack-addled Republican-voting perverts who hate Castro almost as much as they hate each other, and right-wing Americans have to pretend to like at least some spics to avoid electoral oblivion. This doesn’t make the conjecture any less insane.
PDF: “You do loads of business in the States, aren’t you worried about the fact they’ve started jailing British businessmen on the slightest pretext?”
Another Friend Of PDF: “What, you mean NatWest and BetOnSports? Not really, it’s about the same odds as being blown up by terrorists, and I’m not worried about that.”
PDF: “Christ, good point -Â of course, the Brits who died on September 11 were all in the WTC on business, weren’t they?”
AFOP: “I hadn’t even thought of that, but you’re right. So it’s a 10:1 terrorist:random jail ratio, and we’re not afraid of the terrorists either, so obviously being afraid of random jail would be silly.”
PDF: “Indeed. So why the hell does the second scare me so much more than the first?”
AFOP: “Probably because you’re a cock.”
PDF: “Christ, those Orange film trailers are really annoying.”
Friend of PDF: “I don’t know, the last one I saw was quite funny.”
FOP: “Yeah, in fact it was the most I laughed during the whole film.”
PDF: “Blimey. What film were you watching?”
FOP: “United 93.”
Occasionally, when one points out the criminal incompetence of the anti-terrorist police, apologists turn to the “oh, but what about the cases that are currently unreported for security reasons – they’ve arrested loads of terrorists there for sure.”
Yeah, for sure.
Michael Howard – no, not that one – has a point:
When I wrote in this column a few weeks ago about the conundrum of
suicide-bombers, the eminent military historian Michael Howard dropped
me a line to remind me that European soldiers had been sent into
battle in the first world war with the message that there was no
higher honour than to die for your country. Not to live, to fight, to
kill for your country – to die for it.
The same has been true in nearly all cultures forever – it’s only the postwar West where we don’t expect soldiers to die. As such, the fact that suicide bombers are willing to die for their goal ought to be one of the least surprising things ever.
Rounding up a bunch of swarthy-looking chaps who’ve done nothing wrong, letting dodgy third-world jailers torture them, then sending them to a camp in Cuba forever is still viewed as perfectly legitimate. But at least George Bush isn’t allowed to invent secret extrajudicial tribunals to ‘try’ them for their horrible, imaginary crimes…