Monday, June 18, 2007

Someone Refilled the Wanker Machine

I guess I have a new one to kick around. Roger Cohen, in a column praising the vapid "Euston Manifesto."

The American supporters of the manifesto, who include the historian Walter Laqueur, several journalists from The New Republic and Michael Ledeen of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, reject "the ossified and unproductive polarization of American politics."

They deplore the tendency on the left to substitute hatred of Bush for thought about fighting jihadism. Why, they ask, is the left more incensed by America's errors in Iraq than "terrorist outrages by Islamic extremists?"

They note: "In World War II and the Cold War, liberals, centrists and conservatives found moments of commonality. Indeed, if those efforts had been borne exclusively by the left or the right they very well might have failed."

Taken together, the two statements set out core principles of the Anglo-American liberal tradition, bringing Europe and the United States together at a time of apparent ideological divergence. As the U.S. signatories note, the Euston Manifesto hews to "the traditions of American liberal anti-fascism and anti-totalitarianism."

If you're tired of sterile screaming in the wilderness, tired of the comfortably ensconced "hindsighters" poring over every American error in Iraq, tired of facile anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism masquerading as anti- Zionism, try the Euston road in 2007. It might actually lead somewhere.

And a column lamenting the fact that Europe's dirty fucking hippies aren't gazing at their navels furiously enough:

All that is easy enough to understand, and it's clear Bush's case for war was fraudulent. But given that this war also ended a regime of unrelenting terror, why have Europe's liberal interventionists lost their voice? Why is there no self-analysis, no explanation of the fact the road from Sarajevo to Pristina stopped short of Baghdad? Why has smug anti- Bushism replaced reflection?


Legendy's wife, Annemarie, a German, is also skeptical of the war. Debate rages within the family about the feasibility of crafting Iraqi freedom.

Why is such debate so absent in Europe? Why does freedom for Iraq not resonate just because it comes from Bush's mouth? Why is Europe's interventionist left, unanimous today about Hungarian freedom, apparently uninterested in Iraqi freedom?

Just when I tire of the old wankers, I become aware of new ones.

For the record, the reason people opposed the war:

[M]ost of us opposed the war in Iraq because it was obviously a stupid fucking idea.