Wednesday, April 27, 2005

And from the paleozoic left...

The war in Iraq has certainly given a boost to the dinosaur left who I became intimately familiar with in my years at SFSU; wierd, disconnected characters wearing berets and dirty clothes handing out newspapers that fascinated me with their shrill, hysterical rhetoric. At the time I thought there was something romantic about it, and I read Noam Chomsky voraciously and studied Marx. I still believe that Marx is relevant, and that class struggle and the oppressive aspects of capitalism must be addressed. But characterizing all things in the world as either imperialism and the understandable response to it avoids confrontation with a cold, hard reality; that there are mass totalitarian movements in existence, cults of suicide and death who don't have a problem with empire per se. They have a problem with a non-Islamic one.
People who suppose that this collision course with the forces of reaction can be avoided have a variety of lame rationalizations. For example, there isn't really an international terror movement afoot (you would think bombs going off from Madrid to Thailand would tip them off) and even if there are, it's our fault anyway for meddling in their affairs.
Italian journalist Guiliana Sgrena who writes for the Italian pinko newspaper named, hilariously, Il Manifesto went to Iraq a while back to make nice with the "freedom fighters" who have been fighting imperialism by beheading truck drivers, shooting aid workers, and blowing up crowds of Shiite muslims. I am not sure what efforts she made to prevent Hussein from killing more than a million and a half Iraqis and Iranians but I would imagine she did the same thing most of us did; nothingl. I found an interesting article that describes what she is really like

Here's a quote "About Giuliana Sgrena
Mr. Harald Doornbos is a veteran war reporter. He is no archetypical hawk nor a staunch supporter of the United States. In fact, he used to be a reporter for the communist newspaper 'De Waarheid' (The Truth, or Pravda, if you like) before it went bust. (This doesn't necessarily mean he was ever a communist, by the way. De Waarheid used to be a huge employer.)

However, this doesn't make him overly sympathetic towards Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian journalist who was held hostage by Iraqi insurgents. Some snippets from this article which was published today in a Dutch Christian broadsheet.

'Be careful not to get kidnapped,' I told the female Italian journalist sitting next to me in the small plane that was headed for Baghdad. 'Oh no,' she said. 'That won't happen. We are siding with the oppressed Iraqi people. No Iraqi would kidnap us.'

It doesn't sound very nice to be critical of a fellow reporter. But Sgrena's attitude is a disgrace for journalism. Or didn't she tell me back in the plane that 'common journalists such as yourself' simply do not support the Iraqi people? 'The Americans are the biggest enemies of mankind,' the three women behind me had told me, for Sgrena travelled to Iraq with two Italian colleagues who hated the Americans as well.

(Doornbos goes on to explain how the women demeaned him for travelling as an embedded reporter with the US military, for security reasons. They didn't want to hear about any safety concerns.)

'You don't understand the situation. We are anti-imperialists, anti-capitalists, communists,' they said. The Iraqis only kidnap American sympathizers, the enemies of the Americans have nothing to fear.

(Doornbos tells them they're out of their mind.)

But they knew better. When we arrived at Baghdad Airport, I was waiting for a jeep from the American army to come pick me up. I saw one of the Italian women walking around crying. An Iraqi had stolen her computer and television equipment. They were standing outside shivering, waiting for a cab to take them to Baghdad.

With her bias Sgrena did not only jeopardize herself, but due to her behavior a security officer is now dead, and the Italian government (prime minister Berlusconi included) has had to spend millions of euros to save her life. It is to be hoped that Sgrena will decide to have a career change. Propagandist or MP perhaps. But she should give up journalism immediately."
The story she tells is on the surface absurd; the car she was riding in was hit with three to four hundred bullets but somehow she escaped alive. She believes the Americans were trying to kill her. It seems breathtakingly stupid to believe she would be alive if that were the case. They would kill the Italian agent but not her? Current reports indicate that the road to the airport is so dangerous, it's currently closed.
Yet there are not shortage of conspiracist dolts out there spreading this myth. As long as American and European leftists refuse to mark out their territory and exclude such incredibly stupid people, we are lending de facto support to the conservatives. We cannot remain where we have been.


Post a Comment

<< Home