What’s Left is being launched in Australia this week and there’s an interview with me by James Button of the Sydney Morning Herald here and a review by James Campbell of the Melbourne Age here.
I’ve got a piece in the Wall Street Journal here.
Meanwhile Paul Anderson of Tribune writes that he’s astonished by the failure of Leftish critics to get the book. He writes:
‘What started [Nick Cohen] off was the refusal of a large section of the democratic left to dissociate itself publicly from (mainly Leninist) apologists for the intolerable and the inexcusable in the wake of 9/11 – lest we forget, indiscriminate mass murder in New York and Washington DC. He then found much the same phenomenon in the anti-war movement of 2002-03, in the left’s response to 7/7 and in the left’s continuing obsession – on the whole – with banging on about whether invading Iraq was right, oblivious to the actual situation in Iraq. And, boy, do his leftist critics prove him right.
1. Not one left critical review of Cohen has admitted that he’s got a point when it comes to the disgraceful excuses for Islamist terror put out in the wake of 9/11 and 7/7 by the New Statesman, the Guardian and others.
2. Not one has accepted that it was at best moronic for anti-war democratic leftists to acquiesce in the Socialist Workers Party, George Galloway and a reactionary Islamist pressure group – all of them de facto revolutionary defeatists when it came to the war, and thus not anti-war but protagonists of Saddam – appointing themselves as the leadership of the anti-war movement in 2002-03.
3. And not one has even engaged seriously with Cohen’s argument that, regardless of what you thought about the rights and wrongs of the war, what should matter for the left now, with Saddam overthrown and Iraq on the verge of civil war, is how to prevent a sectarian bloodbath there – not continuing a self-indulgent debate about the rights and wrongs of the decision to invade.
As I’ve said before, though the caveat means less and less as time goes by, I disagree with Cohen about the war. But the left consensus – not just the Stalinists and Trotskyists and Islamist apologists – is as putrid as he describes it, if not worse.
Anderson is certainly right about reviews I’ve seen in Socialist Worker, the New Statesman, Morning Star and Spiked, but one left group did manage to be honest. Stan Crooke of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, which is far more left wing than any of the above, naturally disagreed with me. But he at least presented his readers with a fair account of what I said. ‘It’s not what you think but how you think,’ as the old saying goes, and because Crooke argued with evidence he produced a serious piece of criticism. Because Socialist Worker, New Statesman et al were too infuriated or cowardly to present their readers with my argument, they produced propaganda.