Saturday, 15 October 2016

From Iraq to Syria: a checklist for pro-war commentators

Hands up if you agree with Nick Cohen
It's been a week for banging the drums of war and attacking the anti-war movement in the British media. So, what can we expect from Nick Cohen - that most reliable of pro-Western intervention commentators - in his Observer column tomorrow? Here is a list of his favourite motifs.

1) Claim the contemporary Left has nothing in common with what the Left was like when he was a lad

2) Brand the British Left, including Jeremy Corbyn, as 'anti-West'

3) Denounce prominent anti-war figures for appearing on Iranian television

4) Accuse the anti-war movement of supporting Russia (without a scrap of evidence)

5) Reaffirm his caricature of opponents of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as Saddam apologists, while forgetting to mention how disastrous the whole thing was

6) Describe the anti-war movement as supportive of both Assad and Hezbollah (again without any concern for evidence)

7) Say that the problem in Syria is that there hasn't been enough Western bombing

8) Imply that antisemitism is one of the motivations for the British Left's political positions

9) Suggest the British Left is basically the same as the nationalist far right

10) Attack the US left for being just as bad as Corbyn.

Actually, I've already read the column online and he does all of them. Another weekend, another piece of regurgitated rubbish from Nick Cohen.

Yes, it's Groundhog Day for anyone reading the Iraq War's most tenacious cheerleader. Cohen is one of that select band of pro-Iraq war commentators who still hasn't shown even a hint of contrition after propagandising for such a disastrous war. No humility, no apologies, no lessons learned.

It is strange, too, that this beacon of humanitarian concern for the victims of aggressive imperialism has nothing to say about the latest chaotic developments in Libya, or the fresh miseries Saudi Arabia and the US are inflicting on Yemen, or indeed the disturbing new revelations of US knowledge about Saudi and Qatari arming of Isis jihadists. What conveniently selective vision he has.


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