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imperialism & war

Prophecies on war go haywire

I replied, in the relaxed, conversational tone I use if I really want to drive someone crazy: "You're playing right into Saddam's hands. The blood of his victims will be on your conscience." Within seconds, we were being pulled apart like boys in the playground by a fellow guest.
Comment: Prophecies on war go haywire
By Damian Thompson, The Telegraph Group, UK, 24-04-2003

London - On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 9, I watched Saddam's statue lurch sideways,and my fingers itched to pick up the phone. But I didn't give in to the temptation.

For the past few weeks, my Left-wing friends and I have operated a non-aggression pact, organised around a simple rule: don't mention the war. This is not out of respect for each other's views. It's because we don't want the police to be called.

It was at a dinner party, that the friendship-wrecking potential of the Iraq conflict really sank in. I have known Gregory since the 1980s; he carries off the implausibly postmodern combination of graphic designer and practising Anglican with tremendous panache.

He is almost the wittiest person I know, so I felt a pang of disappointment when he explained why he was going on the peace march. "Dubya is such a moron," he said. In my experience, people who call President Bush "Dubya" tend to be morons themselves.

So I replied, in the relaxed, conversational tone I use if I really want to drive someone crazy: "You're playing right into Saddam's hands. The blood of his victims will be on your conscience."

Within seconds, we were being pulled apart like boys in the playground by a fellow guest.

My decision not to pick arguments with my anti-war friends wasn't about agreeing to disagree. It was about not trusting myself not to hit them.

I don't include in my condemnation people who opposed the war for honourable reasons; I'm referring to those who flirted with the hate-filled anti-Americanism of the "Not in My Name" lobby, some of whose spokesmen licked their lips in anticipation of the "grave humanitarian crisis" that would follow military intervention.

I stuck to my resolve right throughout the campaign: indeed, if I'm being honest, I was glad of it during the hairy days of late March.

Even in the past week, I've refrained from gloating - partly because I've been nervous of what might happen. The anti-war movement is thrashing around like a wounded dinosaur. In the 1950s, social psychologist Leon Festinger wrote When Prophecy Fails, a hilarious study of a UFO cult whose world collapsed when a threatened global flood failed to materialise.

He minted the term "cognitive dissonance" to describe the desperate feelings created by the non-fulfilment of prophecy. Yesterday, I walked into a London bookshop and was greeted with a sight that brought me out in goose-pimples of Schadenfreude.

They were clearing away the Chomsky. Yes, the bar-room bore of the anti-imperialist Left was being eased aside to make room for a big pink pile of chick-lit; and when I asked the assistant why, she said: "Well, we thought that now the war is over..."

And I thought: enough is enough. It's time to crow. Time to stand outside London's Arts Theatre and cackle at the sour-faced Islingtonians trooping in to see a show (written before the war and hastily revised, I gather) called The Madness of George Dubya.

Time to write to the Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, and ask him on what information he based his assertion that "hundreds of thousands of Iraqis" would die in the conflict.

Time to cut out Fisky's prophecies of the siege of Baghdad and frame them in the bathroom. Time to pick up the phone to Gregory and say: "The Iraqi people have been liberated - but not in your name."

homepage: homepage: http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=85321

Hmmm 24.Apr.2003 10:53

CheshireSmile

So smug is the man who thought it would end here.

The problem with propaganda pie. 24.Apr.2003 11:25

blacklogic

You must have missed the long shots of the statue being removed.

You must have missed the news on the massive Shiite movement in Karbala to protest the Americans illegal seizure of their country. Shiite's who account for 60% of Iraq's population and who want a theocratic government instead of the U.S.'s proposed democracy.

You must have missed the news about your patriotic soldiers and members of the media looting invaluable treasures from Iraq and trying to ship them back to Capitamerica.

You must have forgotten that they still haven't found the WMD's that were the supposed impetus for this liberation of Iraq.

You must have missed the news that they will soon be firing up the southern oil wells while 80% of Baghdad goes without water and power.

You must have swallowed a big ole' piece of propaganda pie. I hope it doesn't cause you indigestion.

I wasted my time reading this 24.Apr.2003 12:13

MZQB

This article is disjointed, poorly written, and just plain silly.

hmm 24.Apr.2003 14:09

heimdallr

You know, Freudian slips are starting to creep into right-wing polemic. Example: "the anti-imperialist Left". What, no sarcastic quotation marks? No "so-called" qualifier? Are we beginning to admit (at least to ourselves) that this conflict was, in fact, imperialist?

blacklogic 24.Apr.2003 17:04

stinky

did you forget that those shots were thoroughly debunked by several blog folk?

not that you folks would ever *lie* about anything though...