Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Looking for alternatives

Via Norman Geras, Four ideas for the left to redefine itself
One of the left's glories has been its tradition of heroic internationalism, still alive in the anti-globalization movement's insistence on workers' rights around the world... But when it comes to foreign policy these days, the left appears lost. I get depressed hearing friends sound like paleocon isolationists or watching them reflexively assume that there's something inherently tyrannical about the use of American power... Just as the left lacked a coherent position on what to do with murderous despots such as Milosevic and Saddam - it won't do to say, "They're bad, but..." The left now needs a position on how best to battle a Muslim ideology that, at bottom, despises all the freedoms we should be defending. America should be actively promoting the freedom of everyone on the planet, and the key question is, how would the left do it differently from the Bush administration?
How, indeed. I still vividly recall the left here in New Zealand calling Clinton's defence of Muslims in Bosnia "imperialism". They were saying the same things about Bosnia that they now say about Afghanistan and Iraq.

The overwhelming desire to demonise the US has lead much of the Left to turn their backs on those suffering under tyranny.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Particularly good on Auschwitz memorial day, I thought, to listen to those pleading we remember so that no-one else should suffer that again : and to remember those auto-lefties who opposed the Clinton intervention in Kosovo. Which was, wasn't it, rather like.....

28 January 2005 at 7:13 PM  
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