Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

The Twelve Golden Rules of the Irish Anti-War Left.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 25, 2011 in Irish Politics |

Oi! Sarko! Leave that dictator alone!

Oi! Sarko! Leave that dictator alone!

1. The United States is always wrong.

2. The more democratic an international organisation, the more wrong it will be. Thus NATO and the European Union, made up entirely of democracies, are always wrong. The United Nations is right half the time (when the democracies are outvoted), and the Arab League is always right except when it is killing homosexuals or beating women to death, which, whilst regrettable, is an internal matter, and certainly not worth demonstrating against.

3. The United States is always wrong.

4. Westerners voting for candidates to destroy Al Quaeda are imperialists who deserve to be attacked. Palestinians voting for candidates to destroy Israel are entitled to express their view, and are entitled to money from westerner taxpayers.

5. The United States is always wrong.  

6. Oil is evil, except when used to get one to demos, manufacture one’s computer to post anti-western stuff on the web, make smart phones, or generate wealth in an economy to fund social spending. That oil is not evil but is made by indigenous pixies who are paid a fair wage and never get put on short-time.

7. The United States is always wrong.

8. The “Whatabout” Rule only applies to the West: If the West tries to intervene in Libya, then it must intervene in Tibet, Russia, etc.

9. Getting accidentally bombed by a Western democracy is always morally worse than getting deliberately killed by a dictator of your own religion or colour. Just ask anyone it has happened to.

10. Did we mention that the United States is always wrong?

11. Oppressed people rising up against a well-armed brutal dictator should be willing to sacrifice their lives in the thousands as a symbol to other oppressed people rather than get any military help from the hated West*. (*note: This rule does not apply inside western democracies)

12. A referendum that goes in your favour is the voice of the people. A referendum that goes against you is a result of fear and ignorance* (*This rule can, in fairness, be used across the political spectrum)

4 Comments

cagp
Mar 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm

“Arab League is always right except when it is killing homosexuals or beating women to death, which, whilst regrettable, is an internal matter, and certainly not worth demonstrating against.”

You’ve got that one completely backwards, surely? It’s the western powers who are advertising the support of the Arab League for the current intervention. The ‘anti-war left’ is pointing out that the Arab League are a collection of dictators, many of them at this very moment violently suppressing democracy movements in their own countries.

This relates to the wider point. As I assume you accept, the major powers are taking completely different attitudes to the massacres being carried out by the dictatorship in Libya and the massacres being carried out at the exact same time by the western-allied dictatorships in Yemen and Bahrain. It therefore follows that a desire to protect democracy and human rights cannot be the motivation behind the intervention in Libya. So why should we have any faith that this will be the result?

The point about double standards isn’t ‘whataboutery’, its’ about clarifying the real nature of the involvement of the major powers in world affairs. If you actually believe that the reason of US (or French or Russian or Chinese) involvement in world affairs is in the interest of the people of the countries they intervene in, then of course it makes sense to support their interventions. If you think its essentially predatory, then it makes sense to oppose them and expect they will have a negative impact on the people of the country concerned. Put simply, the same people who prop up dictators and war criminals, should not be looked to to end them elsewhere.


 
Jason O
Mar 26, 2011 at 8:57 am

Forgive my clumsy point. What I’m saying is that the IAWL would have given much more credence to the AL if it had come out against the NFZ then the democratic NATO or EU for supporting it.
Yes, the west does have a different attitude to what is happening in Bahrain. We need Bahrain as a base to A) attack Iran, or assist in the attack, in the event of Iran comiing close to geting nuclear weapons, and B) to secure our oil supply. Is it ugly, yes it is. Should we coax Bahrain down a less violent path. Yes we should. Are we going to bomb them? No. we need them.
I don’t believe that western policy is drawn in such black and white terms as you suggest. The interests of the people in the region are a consideration, and certainly we in the west often give those interests a higher priority than some of their own leaders, but yes, we do put our own economic interests first. It’s why you have that oil based keyboard in front of you that you’re about to type your reply on. Western leaders have to be elected, and western voters always put their own economic self interests first. In the last election, the Irish people, in the most anti-capitalist atmosphere we have ever had in this country, gave most votes to centrist economically orthodox parties.
Your final point is just plain wrong: the same people who do prop up dictators do sometimes end them elsewhere. Just ask the people of Serbia or Iraq. The actions of the west put Milosevic and Saddam on trial. If Joe and Richard Boyd Barrett had their way, both men would still be in power. Not through desire but inaction.


 
Luke
Mar 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Great stuff Jason.


 
Jason O
Mar 29, 2011 at 7:26 am

Thanks Luke. My left wing readers were less enthused!


 

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