Tag Archives: Iraq

The Guardian: They should come out as imperialist and proud of it

Geoffrey Wheatcroft:

There is a progressive tradition of support for colonialism, which the Euston Manifesto Group could champion

Whatever else the Iraq enterprise and the supposed attempt to democratise the Middle East have done, they have produced some unlikely alliances, and begun some fascinating new disputes. The question of imperialism has been raised again, though in a way that is uncomfortable on more than one side politically, as the recently promulgated Euston manifesto suggests.

The Iraq war has divided opinion, but not just on conventional left-right lines. It was largely opposed here by the left, but also by a number of former Tory cabinet ministers (not to say more ordinary Conservatives than Labour voters), and in America not only by liberals and radicals but by veteran conservatives such as Peter Viereck and William Buckley.

Another division has opened on the American neoconservative right. Many neocons angrily resent any suggestion that the US could ever be described in terms of imperial hegemony. But some neocons have begun to say that America is indeed an imperial power, and a good thing too: Charles Krauthammer has insisted that Americans must stop shying away from the word “empire”, adding that “we could use a colonial office in the state department”.

Here even the moderate left still does shy away from the idea of empire, as can be seen from the new group that began life in a pub near Euston station a year ago and will be formally launched later this month. A “loose association of bloggers, journalists, academics and activists”, the signatories to the Euston manifesto include Nick Cohen, John Lloyd and Francis Wheen, as well as the Americans Paul Berman and Michael Walzer.

Not all Eustonians supported the Iraq war, but they are broadly “liberal hawks”, or progressive interventionists. Their manifesto deplores “the anti-Americanism … infecting so much left-liberal thinking”. In essence they believe the west, with all its acknowledged faults, is a benevolent and progressive force.

link to full text online

The American Spectator: Going back to Euston

I am European. I am liberal. I am a supporter of the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq.

Sometimes it feels like a meeting attended by every person who shares those traits could be held in a closet.

“But that feeling, it has transpired, is wrong. Late last month, a group of left-of-center academics, journalists, and bloggers in Britain published “The Euston Manifesto.”

“The manifesto—which I played no part in formulating, but to which I am a signatory—displays clear-sightedness, realism and moral consistency. Those are precisely the values that I believe large swathes of the Left, in the U.S., the UK, and elsewhere in Europe including my native Ireland, have abandoned.

“The Euston Manifesto is not officially a “pro-war” document. The group that drew it up included some people who disagreed with the invasion. But the signatories are united in their recognition that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s “reactionary, semi-fascist and murderous” regime was “a liberation of the Iraqi people.”

link to full article online

Platform Seven

Norman Geras explains why one short passage in the manifesto will be reworded.

Platform Six

Shalom Lappin deals with serious misunderstandings of the nature of the document.

Platform One

Norman Geras deals with some of the more basic attacks.